ELECTRIC BUS WITH UNDER-CHASSIS BATTERIES LAUNCHED IN EUROPE


POLISH BUS manufacturer Rafako has created an electric bus that houses its batteries under the chassis, improving the centre of gravity, stability and behaviour of the vehicle, the company states.

ELECTRIC BUS WITH UNDER-CHASSIS BATTERIES LAUNCHED IN EUROPE
The free space on the roof enables the placement of photovoltaic panels, improving the energy balance of the vehicle, according to Rafako.

As the first fully locally made small bus in Poland with such a design, the e-bus was, "created for the sake of air purity and noise reduction from the environment."

According to Rafako, the innovative arrangement of batteries means improved traction parameters, and a synchronous multi-phase permanent magnet motor is a guarantee of high efficiency.

"The reduced weight of the vehicle - thanks to its lightweight design - increases the battery range by as much as 10 per cent!"

It uses "innovative batteries" for fast LTO charging – taking only 15 minutes to 90 per cent capacity, it states.

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At its European launch and then prototype premiere in Raciborz, Poland, late last year, the company was able to show its, "… vision of the future and taking care of the environment. Changes are necessary for us to feel better together," it stated.

"A company that fails to keep up with the pace of change and adapt to a new reality is bound to disappear. We are not afraid of change, as best demonstrated by our project of the Rafako-branded electric bus," said Agnieszka Wasilewska-Semail, president of the Rafako S.A. Management Board.

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INNOVATION

The Rafako E-bus with electric drive, thanks its "modern technology and small footprint" - will be perfect as a school bus and city, or suburban means of transport, it says. 

This is a unique Polish mini low-emission bus that uses a range of disciplines to meet its objectives.

As the company explains in terms of its lightweight design, "execution of the vehicle's frame in self-supporting technology with materials of increased strength … and the use of external plating elements made of aluminium and polyester laminates, allowed for a low vehicle weight," it claims.

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By having the battery under the chassis it lowers the centre of gravity of the vehicle and improves its traction parameters. The free space on the roof enables the placement of photovoltaic panels, improving the energy balance of the vehicle, according to Rafako.

Its multi-phasic synchronous motor with permanent magnets guarantees greater efficiency and motor overload, as well as vehicle performance and increased range on a single battery charge, it adds.

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OTHER USES

Rafako sees multiple uses for the relatively small "elektrobus", which should tick boxes for "urban, suburban or school bus" use.

Using a light, "…skeleton of stainless steel and polyester in the construction [it] will provide small and larger passengers with safety, and innovative technological solutions will contribute to the purity of air and noise reduction," it explained.

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The vehicle is also adapted for the carriage of passengers using mobility devices.

Leading into the design of the bus, the company appreciated that not every municipality needed a "bulky bus", and so with the thought of local demand it created an e-bus that does not exceed 3.2m in height, so that it can, "…fit under every overpass" because "…smaller size [buses] are better [at] manoeuvrability.

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After the installation of the batteries in the chassis, the stability of the bus improved by 20 per cent compared to those with similar dimensions.

"We bet on modernity and polish solutions. The multi-phasic engine synchronous PMSM was designed specifically for us to guarantee the efficiency and improvement of the vehicle's reaches and the length of the route on one," the company stated.

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"From the very beginning of the project we wanted it to be as innovative as possible. Thanks to the knowledge and experience of our designers [it] is the first electric bus in Poland that will have a battery in the [chassis].

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"This has significantly reduced the centre of gravity of the vehicle, resulting in improving the stability of the driving track and on the behaviour of the bus."

The total permissible mass is about 16,500kg, the company confirms.

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