GE's new hybrid electric bus tosses out the traditional idea of one large battery and replaces it with two different types of batteries working in tandem to maximize both energy storage and energy delivery.
The bus was built by the Federal Transit Authority Hybrid Transit Bus team, which includes GE scientists, and features one lithium battery and one sodium battery. The lithium battery can provide bursts of power for propelling the bus, but can't store as much energy, while the sodium battery has a larger energy storage capacity, but isn't able to provide those bursts of power. Each have their strengths that, coupled together, make up for their shortcomings, resulting in a hybrid system that doesn't have to compromise on power or range.
The other advantage to this dual battery system is that could be as much as 20 percent cheaper than one large lithium battery because less expensive battery chemistries can be used and there's no extra spending on scaling up.
The bus is currently able to hit a top speed of 50 mph and achieve a 60 - 80 mile range, depending on driving conditions. The scientists are making tweaks in hopes of hitting a top speed of 62 mph and a 100-mile range under normal bus-driving conditions (a route with multiple stops and starts).
The 100-mile range is the golden ticket as the average daily distance driven by school and city buses hovers at or below the 100-mile mark.
Image via GE
written by utility vehicle, December 11, 2010
written by Asaf Shalgi, December 11, 2010
written by g2 environmental, December 18, 2010
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