The Scottish bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis, which was recently taken over by North America’s largest bus manufacturer NFI Group, is expanding its range to include a double-decker with hybrid drive. The basis is the Enviro400EV, which is also on the road in London as a fully electric bus.
The Enviro400ER (ER for “electric range”), which was developed in cooperation with BAE Systems. The battery, based on lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt technology, has a capacity of 32 kWh. Depending on the route profile and driving style, up to five kilometers are possible in the new, purely electric driving mode. However, the focus is on low-emission hybrid operation, in which the electric drive supports the combustion engine.
“Improving air quality is on everyone’s agenda,” says Arthur Whiteside, Managing Director UK Sales at Alexander Dennis. “Our new Electric Range option offers a highly cost-effective way of introducing zero-emissions capability with no need to change operational practices”.
However, if the battery is empty after five kilometres, it must be charged via diesel or recuperation – the Enviro400ER does not have an external charging option. The advantage, however, is that the hybrid bus with its electric mode can drive through short “Ultra Low Emission Zones”, where conventional hybrid buses may not be able to enter under certain circumstances.
Brighton & Hove has already ordered 30 units of Alexander Dennis’ new hybrid double-decker. The vehicles are to be delivered this year and will then be used on Route 5 in the centre of Brighton.
In May it became known that North America’s largest bus manufacturer NFI Group, which also produces electric buses under the New Flyer brand, is taking over Alexander Dennis Limited for around 405 million dollars. ADL is best known for its double-decker buses and also cooperates with BYD on electric buses.