Torotrak’s bus KERS system gets all-clear

TOROTRAK, a developer and supplier of emissions reduction and fuel efficiency technology in vehicles, and Wrightbus are celebrating the successful completion of the in-service trial of the Flybrid mechanical kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) for buses.

The trial was conducted with Arriva, one of the largest bus operators in the UK.

It was carried out on a standard bus route in Gillingham, Kent from Mark 2015, and Torotrak says it successfully demonstrated the performance of the Flybrid KERS under “real-world operating conditions”, including the capture, storage and release of energy from the brakes and the drivability of the system.

Preston-based Torotrak says the results from the trial have already proven invaluable in selecting the operating strategy for the volume production system, which will be a second generation design.

Already undergoing detailed testing on rigs and in a new Euro VI StreetLite bus, this new KERS design is intended to further improve bus fuel efficiency and reduces the KERS weight and cost.

In collaboration with its global tier one manufacturing partner, Torotrak is on course to start production of bus KERS systems from mid 2016 onwards. Tier two suppliers across the UK and other parts of the EU have been nominated and the manufacture of production tooling is currently underway.

Torotrak chief executive Adam Robson said: “This is a very exciting time for the group with the bus KERS project that started in 2012 going into commercial production from the middle of this year.

“I am delighted with the progress we have made and we look forward to delivering our first systems to Wrightbus during Q3 2016.”

Wrightbus engineering director Brian Maybin said: “After the invaluable in-service trials with Arriva, Wrights and Torotrak have confirmed that the next generation of flywheel is now under extensive durability testing, and after successful fuel trials, will be put into service trials from May 2016.  Production vehicles will be able to be delivered into service late in 2016.”

Ian Tarran, Engineering Director at Arriva UK Bus added: “As one of the largest bus operators in the UK with over 5,900 buses, improving the efficiency of our bus fleet and reducing emissions is important to us and our customers.  

“Having collaborated with Torotrak and Wrightbus on the flywheel project since 2012 we are looking forward to installing Flybrid KERS across our bus fleet from Q3 2016 onwards.”