Double decker buses given hybrid engines

Published on Tuesday, 18 June 2013 10:51
Written by Vicki Mitchem

Vantage Power Ltd., a UK company founded by two engineering graduates who drove from Alaska to Argentina in an electric car, plans to be fitting its hybrid engines into 1,000 double-decker buses a year by 2017.

The company has a contract with Ensignbus Co., the UK's biggest used bus dealer, to start installing the engines for testing in its fleet toward the end of this year, said Alex Schey, Vantage's 25 year-old co-founder. The electric-diesel motors cut emissions and fuel costs by 40 per cent, he said.

"In 2017, a mid-term goal, we want to be selling a thousand units a year plus," he said. "The industry is going through such massive growth around the world, with so few players having a significant market share, that there really is that opportunity."

Vantage is seeking to benefit from Britain's drive to clean up its transportation systems as it seeks to reduce emissions by 80 per cent from 1990 levels by 2050. Boris Johnson said in February that all buses in the city centre will have hybrid engines by 2020.

A new hybrid bus costs upwards of £288,000 while Vantage's B320 system costs £60,000 to £70,000 and reduces fuel costs by £20,000 a year, Schey said.

The company has raised about £800,000 from private equity investors including Qi3 Ltd., Synergy Energy and government funds and is targeting further fundraising in 2014, he said.

Source: Vantage Power

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