Capabus: The Finest Advancement for Electric Buses

In a bid to ensure that current rate of fuel consumption does not exploit existing non-renewable resources such as petroleum and natural gas, leading automobile manufacturers are trying to add that ‘electric’ quotient to every workable vehicle. Few decades ago, electric buses were a piece of science fiction, until automotive companies realized this concept in the best practical way. At the moment, electric buses are gaining prominence in various parts of the world. Technological advancements in working mechanism of electric buses has inflated business opportunities for automobile manufacturer.

Incorporating hybrid technologies in electric buses is expected to reinforce the global demand for non-autonomous and autonomous electric buses. Hybrid electric buses or dual-mode buses run on internal combustion engines and electric propulsion principles. However, the major challenge for existing range of electric buses is low capacity for power storage. Providentially, such restraints became irrelevant when a state-of-art electric bus was developed in Asia Pacific, which is among the most dominant region in global electric buses market.

What is Capabus?

“Capabus” was initially experimented and later commercial deployed throughout China, a country known for recording highest automobile production in the world. Stringent emission standards in China justified the rising acceptance to electric buses such as Capabus, which proved to be efficient enhancement for autonomous electric buses. The technical aspects of Capabus indicate that it uses high-quality ultracapacitors for improving electricity storage. Unlike other autonomous electric buses, Capabus does not require continuous overhead lines and uses onboard power storage.

Deployment History

A prototype of Capabus was first tested in Shanghai, back in 2005. Commercial deployment of two Capabuses happened a year later, with one of them running one a populous route to Shanghai. By 2009, over 60 buses, each equipped with ultracapacitors supplying 10 watt-hours per kilogram of power, were deployed in China’s prominent urban cities.

Besides Capabus, the various regions in the world have witnessed successful deployment of hybrid electric buses. In 2001, a diesel-electric bus was tested on a public transport operator line in Nuremberg, Germany. Within two years, Mannheim public transport deployed a capa-LRV that resourcefully stored braking energy. Siemens AG, a global automotive leader developed its own energy storage system, which garnered demand for budding automotive manufacturers who were keen on exploring opportunities in global electric bus market. Influenced by such strategic moves, companies such as Adetel Group, Proton Power Systems, and Cegelec have recently launched a range of energy storage systems to penetrate the untapped areas for commercially implementing electric buses.

Future of Hybrid Electric Buses

Capabus or other hybrid electric buses are known to run on an electric dual-layered capacitors. These ultracapacitors can instantly recharge the storage whenever the bus stops under electric umbrellas fitted on the tracks. When buses are temporarily stationed at terminus, these capacitors charge power storages to full capacity. To augment such mechanism, hybrid electric cars in future are expected to be equipped with next-generation supercapacitor technology. Supercapacitors are predicted to improve energy efficiency of hybrid electric buses, enabling them cover distances beyond reach of electric lines.

Increasing density of ultracapacitors can also provide essential increment in power storage systems of electric buses. Scientific advancements can use carbon nanotube structures and align them on surfaces to hold greater electric charge. Furthermore, adding such structures can increase capacitance to five folds and exceed the present levels of electricity storage systems.

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The global electric bus market to witness upsurge owing to growing adoption of hybrid electric buses such as Capabus. Capabus to gain traction in several key regions of the world.

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