Go-Ahead is one of the UK’s leading providers of passenger transport, with over one billion passenger journeys taken each year on its bus and rail services. Williams Hybrid Power is working closely with Go-Ahead to develop and produce six prototype buses with a retrofitted Gyrodrive® hybrid flywheel system, providing electro mechanical energy to drive the bus and deliver substantial improvements to fuel economy and reduce CO2 emissions.
Alex Burns, Chief Executive Officer of Williams, comments on the validity of motorsport as a development path for commercial vehicle hybrid systems.
'Typically a bus will come to a complete stop every few minutes as passenger’s board and alight and here exists the perfect environment in which to use the WHP flywheel energy to accelerate the bus and save fuel. It’s a heavy vehicle and even at relatively low speed it has the same kinetic energy as an F1 car at relatively high speed – the technology therefore reads across very easily from Formula One to a city bus.'
Phil Margrave, Go-Ahead’s Group Engineering Director:
‘The fuel consumption savings being predicted are attractive even at the lower estimates of around 10 – 15%…the price of fuel is what’s driving interest in this now. If the payback can be shown to be under 5 years, we might even retrofit flywheels on buses that are already ten years old.'