Rotterdamse Elektrische Tram (RET) received an e-Busz all-electric bus from e-Traction during a presentation in downtown Rotterdam last week. The e-Busz model by e-Traction houses the company’s electric-drive system within a Coach Citea CLF bus from Dutch manufacturer VDL Bus. RET has ordered two e-Busz units from e-Traction with the short-term goal of testing these units on regular routes. Officials with RET are attempting to meet EU emissions standards while capturing consumer interest in all-electric vehicles and reducing fuel costs.
The biggest advancement in the e-Busz is the use of third-generation wheel hub motors. TheWheel SM500/3 wheel hub motor is stationed in each wheel well to provide four-wheel drive. These wheel hub motors are designed to increase output to deal with increased vehicle weight as well as uneven surfaces. This third iteration of the wheel motor improves energy efficiency and performance by 50% compared to the second generation. The e-Busz also incorporates a Knorr brake system with the wheel hub motors to provide responsive braking as well as energy recuperation.
e-Traction uses advanced battery packs and auxiliary power units to keep these buses on the move. The e-Busz is powered by a 12.8-volt lithium-ion battery pack from Valence. The battery pack is made with a lithium-ion phosphate chemistry that can withstand tens of thousands of charges by heavy-duty vehicles. The drive system also features an auxiliary power unit (APU) that doubles torque and offers emergency power generation. Every component in the e-Busz drive train is compact enough for quick replacement. For example, e-Traction states that the APU can be replaced within an hour to return the e-Busz to regular service.
RET offers a good test market for the e-Busz thanks to its substantial infrastructure and reliable user base. This primary transit provider in Rotterdam operates 28 bus routes along with nine tram lines to accommodate more than 1.6 million customers. The Dutch transit company operates a fleet of 238 standard public buses that will soon include two e-Busz units. Day-to-day life in Rotterdam includes active use of public transportation, which means that the e-Busz will be put through the paces. As the e-Busz proves an effective alternative to diesel buses, e-Traction should see a substantial uptick in orders from other European transit systems.