London Buses to Get F1 Technology
Engineering consultancy GKN and UK transport operator The Go-Ahead Group have agreed a deal that will aim to help reduce emissions in cities with the supply of electric flywheel systems to 500 buses over the next two years.
The GKN system is based on Formula One race technology developed in the UK. This same technology helped Audi’s R18 e-tron win at Le Mans last month.
Go-Ahead has placed an order for GKN Hybrid Power to supply 500 of its Gyrodrive systems to the transport operator. The Gyrodrive system uses a high speed flywheel made of carbon-fibre to store the energy generated by a bus as it slows down to stop. It then uses the stored energy to power an electric motor which helps accelerate the bus back up to speed, generating claimed fuel savings of more than 20% at a lower cost than battery hybrid alternatives.
The agreement covers the supply of the complete Gyrodrive system, including the GKN Hybrid Power flywheel as well as GKN’s EVO electric motor, a GKN designed and manufactured gearbox, and installation. The system is said to be designed to last for the life of the bus, thereby eliminating the need for any battery changes.
Following trials on buses in London, Go-Ahead intends to utilise the technology in cities it serves across the UK, initially in London and Oxford.
GKN Hybrid Power is based in Oxfordshire, with final assembly taking place in a new facility at GKN’s site in Telford. The company says its Gyrodrive technology is being further developed for other mass transit markets including trams, construction and agricultural equipment.
Earlier this year GKN announced the acquisition of Williams Hybrid Power from Williams Grand Prix Engineering to form GKN Hybrid Power, which is focused on delivering complete hybrid solutions across multiple vehicle, power and industrial markets.