In 2009, BAE Systems reported sales of £22.4 billion (US$ 36.2 billion). BAE Systems is a global defence, security and aerospace company with approximately 107,000 employees worldwide. The Company delivers a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services.
In military EVs, BAE Systems is a major contractor. It is also a leading producer of efficient, low-emission hybrid electric propulsion systems for transit buses. Its HybriDriveTM propulsion technology has been in daily revenue service on buses in New York and other cities since 1998. More than 2,500 buses use HybriDriveTM technology to carry more than a million passengers daily. To date, these buses have travelled more than 150 million miles, saved 10 million gallons of diesel fuel, and prevented more than 100,000 tons of carbon emissions.
Feasibility of fuel cell technology
Now, under a planned work effort, the company will serve as systems integrator to deliver a fuel cell powered vehicle to SunLine Transit in an effort funded by the Federal Transit Administration, CALSTART, California Air Resource Board, and California South Coast Air Quality Management District. The fuel cell bus, which will use no fossil fuel, will demonstrate technology that can reduce dependence on diesel fuel and compressed natural gas. It is scheduled for delivery in December 2011.
"This new-generation fuel cell bus is the result of a true partnership with SunLine Transit Agency, CALSTART, bus manufacturer ElDorado National (California) Inc., Ballard Power Systems, and the Federal Transit Administration, and continues BAE Systems' ongoing development of environmentally friendly, heavy-duty vehicles," said Rich Hopf, general manager of vehicle systems for BAE Systems. "We look forward to furthering our work as a systems integrator and showcasing the evolution in technology from partial to zero emissions."
C. Mikel Oglesby, General Manager, SunLine Transit Agency said, "SunLine is extremely pleased to join in the partnership for the demonstration of the new-generation fuel cell bus that will help to advance the commercialization of this technology in transit operations."
The bus developed under the program will use a fuel cell module supplied by Ballard Power Systems as the main power plant, combined with BAE Systems propulsion and power management systems to propel a 40-foot transit bus. It will help form the basis for a clean, commercially viable hydrogen-powered transit bus that eliminates fossil fuel-consumption and the associated greenhouse gas emissions.
The new vehicle is based on BAE Systems' HybriDrive propulsion system, used by transit agencies across the U.S., Canada and in the UK. The demonstration vehicle will use an advanced lithium-ion-based energy storage system that increases battery life and substantially reduces vehicle weight. The battery system, which will augment the fuel cell, is self-monitoring for easy service and reduced maintenance costs.
Hybrid bus power train
Also in March, BAE Systems announced that the first of the hybrid electric systems that will power 56 clean, green and efficient double-decker buses in Oxford and Manchester in the UK had been delivered by BAE Systems to bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) in the UK.
Bus operator Stagecoach Group will take delivery of their buses commencing with Oxford first, followed by Manchester, in the summer of 2010. They are the first of up to 300 hybrid electric buses that will be supplied to operators across the UK with support from the Department of Transport's £30 million Green Bus Fund, which provides financial incentives to adopt green technologies.
The diesel-electric BAE Systems HybriDrive system being installed in the new ADL Enviro 400h hybrid buses for Oxford and Manchester will deliver fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions that are up to 30 per cent lower than conventional buses. Double-decker buses are already a fuel-efficient, highly manoeuvrable and capable way of carrying more people within a 12-metre footprint than any other vehicle.
The introduction of these new hybrid buses powered by BAE Systems will help transport authorities across the UK meet forthcoming UK environmental regulations by greatly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as saving fuel and reducing life-cycle costs. BAE Systems has partnered with ADL since 2007 to build hybrid electric buses for the UK, and these latest orders follow Transport for London's evaluation of 17 BAE Systems-powered hybrid buses.
"We have been impressed with the performance, reliability, and product support in the UK provided by BAE Systems' hybrid technology," said Adrian Havlin, Stagecoach group technical engineer. "These new hybrid vehicles are part of a package of measures to make our operations more sustainable and attract people to our greener, smarter public transport services. We are looking forward to being the first operator of these next-generation buses outside of London."
The HybriDrive system consists of a generator, an electric motor, and an energy storage system managed by computerised controls. A diesel engine that turns the generator operates independently of the electric drive motor, allowing it to run at nearly constant speed for optimum efficiency.
The system also uses no mechanical transmission, a major maintenance item on conventional diesel buses. The BAE Systems technology has been trialled in a range of civilian and military vehicles and has proven itself as a smooth, powerful, reliable and environmentally friendlier power source.
Later note: in August 2010, California Energy Commission granted around $200,000 towards the Ecoliner Electric Bus roll-out by the Foothill Transit District, leveraging private funds.
Image: Alexander Dennis hybrid bus powered by BAE Systems on the London bus route, source: BAE Systems.
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