Innovative technology improves fuel efficiency for city buses

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - 15:00
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Gyrodrive putting London buses in pole position

500 buses get F1 inspired clean up

GKN plc and transport operative, The Go-Ahead Group, have agreed a deal for the supply of fuel efficient, electric flywheel Gyrodrive systems to 500 buses over the next two years.

The GKN system is based on UK-developed Formula One race technology – recently helping Audi’s R18 e-tron win at Le Mans last month – and through increased fuel efficiency also reduces carbon emissions.

The Gyrodrive system uses a high speed flywheel made of carbon fibre to store the energy generated by a bus as it slows down to stop.

The stored energy is then used to power an electric motor which helps accelerate the bus back up to speed, generating fuel savings of more than 20%, at a significantly lower cost than battery hybrid alternatives.

The agreement covers the supply of the complete Gyrodrive system, including the GKN Hybrid Power flywheel, as well as their advanced EVO electric motor, a GKN designed and manufactured gearbox, and installation.

The system is designed to last for the life of the bus eliminating the need for any battery changes. Following successful trials, Go-Ahead intends to utilise the technology in cities it serves across the UK, initially in London and Oxford.

Philip Swash, Chief Executive Officer at GKN Land Systems, said: “The fact that we are using the same ground-breaking technology, that helped Audi win at Le Mans for the past three years, to improve fuel efficiency in the public transport sector also shows what great innovation there is in the UK’s engineering sector.”

David Brown, Chief Executive Officer at Go-Ahead, added: “Our collaboration with GKN has been a most constructive one.
“The flywheel technology helps us to reduce our fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, so improving air quality for all those living, working and visiting the city.”

GKN Hybrid Power is based in Oxfordshire, with final assembly taking place in a new facility at their site in Telford.

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