Beijing hybrid bus trial hailed as success

Hybrid buses incorporating US firm Enova's pre-transmission hybrid drive systems have successfully completed field trials on passenger routes within the Olympic sector during the recent Beijing Olympic Games.

The 20 City Buses were manufactured by the Bus & Coach division of Chinese automotive group FAW.

Liu Minghue, the executive director of engineering for the trial stated: "The Olympic demonstration exceeded our expectations and FAW is very happy with our strong partnership with Enova Systems."

This month, FAW placed an additional order for Enova pre-transmission hybrid-electric drive systems as a result of the success of the demonstration during the Beijing Olympics.

Several China-based transit bus manufacturers participated in the trials. FAW's Wuxi factory is now set to begin mass production of a new hybrid bus designed for China's increasingly popular bus rapid transit (BRT) systems and traditional inner-city mass transit routes. This new model, with ten proprietary patents, delivers a fuel economy increase of 38 per cent and an emissions reduction of 30 per cent, compared to traditional diesel buses.

In November, Enova and FAW senior management will meet in China to begin formal discussions on how to aggressively pursue a hybrid strategy for the immense Asian truck and bus market.

According to the KPMG 2006 China Commercial Vehicles Market Report, the annual medium and heavy truck and bus build in China is approximately 1.1 million units, with FAW holding a 22 per cent share of that build.

Mike Staran, president and CEO of Enova, commented: "This is the first time that the Enova 90kW pre-transmission hybrid drive system has been part of a head-to-head field trial competition involving a fleet of this size, and the success of this trial represents a very important milestone in our strategy for expanding the market for our hybrid and all-electric drive system solutions in China and the worldwide market."

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