Hybrid handover in sight

NSW State Transit Authority is about to take delivery of the Alexander Dennis-Custom hybrid bus after months of in-house design and system tests

Hybrid handover in sight
Hybrid handover in sight

By David Goeldner | March 21, 2011

NSW’s State Transit Authority is expected to take delivery of the Alexander Dennis-Custom series hybrid bus later this week after months of in-house trials prior to handover.

The low floor bus is built on an Alexander Dennis series hybrid chassis under a Custom CB80 body and will be sent through an official NSW Government trialling process for 12 months out of STA’s inner-western Leichhardt depot.

Custom Sales and Marketing Director Steve Jackson says the handover is likely to happen this Friday.

"We will handover the vehicle for diver and workshop familiarisation and training, as well as route familiarisation for a four week period," Jackson says.

As the first series hybrid in Australia, the vehicle is being touted as the most economical of its type for city stop-start running.

The electronic system is designed by UK-based BAE, and adapts technology used in US military vehicles requiring low diesel fuel reliance.

"This particular system is based on Alexander Dennis’s double-deckers operating in London," Jackson says.

The bus is low floor through the rear axle to the back of the vehicle.

Asia Motors, the Australian distributor of Alexander Dennis, recently sent one their technicians to London to sort through refinements to the safety and workshop aspects of the vehicle and returns this week to deliver STA driver training.

"The benefit of a hybrid is that you fine-tune the electronics to suit the operation," Jackson says.

"So there will be a period of fine-tuning."

The vehicle’s Cummins engine drives the generator, power steering, alternator, air-conditioning and water pump.

"All power, when you accelerate, comes from the batteries and when you decelerate or brake you put power back into the batteries," says Jackson.

"That’s the uniqueness of a series system, and part of the STA trial is to find out what it’s really like."

Transport NSW is running the trial, and has engaged several parties, including university researchers, for the assessment.

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