HybriDrive® Propulsion Systems Take a Smooth, Silent Step Towards Zero Emissions

A London United bus powered by HybriDrive Series propulsion, passes the London Eye
Arrive and Go, at Your Service

The goal? A zero-emissions bus. A step toward this goal? Arrive and go.

What is arrive and go? Before we answer this, let’s explore the background of our HybriDrive Solutions business.

HybriDrive Solutions has been powering buses with its hybrid electric propulsion system for more than a decade worldwide. Through the years, our HybriDrive family of products has benefitted from lessons learned and technical developments. However, our goal has remained the same: develop technology that allows for a zero-emissions bus. With that goal in mind, we continue to design technology, like our HybriDrive Series buses, with fully electric drive modes that moves us one step closer to success.

During the past decade, we’ve rolled out several generations of our HybriDrive Propulsion System, and our latest generation enables a function called arrive and go, otherwise known as stop/start.

Arrive and go, as referred to in the UK, and stop/start in the U.S., gives hybrid buses the ability to eliminate emissions when the vehicle is stationary, saving fuel and diminishing noise and odors associated with diesel buses.

This past March, the UK added this functionality with 27 HybriDrive Series buses entered into service as part of the London United fleet – one of the main bus operators serving the capital. London United, a subsidiary of RATP Dev and part of the RATP Group, maintains a fleet of some 900 buses, 56 of which are hybrid vehicles.

“Series technology works a lot better than parallel technology for the duty cycles that we operate, considering the number of times we’re stopping and in terms of the brake regeneration we can achieve,” said Les Birchley, engineering director of London United. “To date, our hybrid operation has covered approximately one and a half million miles, and during that time, we’ve saved approximately 400,000 liters of fuel and prevented almost 1,000 tons of CO2. We are looking to exceed those figures with our new arrive and go buses.”

London United was the first UK operator to apply the arrive and go capability, which uses the stored energy in the HybriDrive system’s lithium-ion battery to supply power to the buses’ electrical components, even when the engine is shut down. This capability allows the engine to shut off before the bus arrives at a stop, eliminating fuel consumption, noise, and exhaust fumes. The engine automatically restarts after the bus has pulled away from the stop – hence arrive and go.

This arrive and go, or stop/start, component is a step toward a zero-emissions mass transit option. This important step allows for further advances in hybrid technology, including greater levels of electrification for the ancillary systems on hybrid vehicles, such as air conditioning and an engine cooling fan. Electrification of accessories is now available from our HybriDrive Solutions business as an option for North American and European bus manufacturers.

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