DOE-Industry Partnership Developing Prototype Hybrid Electric Ultralight Stainless Steel Bus
April 20, 2004
UQM Technologies, Inc., a developer of alternative energy technologies, has announced that its permanent magnet propulsion motors will power a prototype hybrid electric ultralight stainless steel 40-foot urban bus being developed by Autokinetics Inc., as part of a project funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies Program. The lightweight stainless steel bus structure was developed with funding from DOE's High Strength Weight Reduction Materials Program under a subcontract with Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
The hybrid electric ultralight stainless steel urban bus features a low floor monocoque-type structure, four-wheel independent suspension that operates with no interior intrusion for axle clearance, and a front frame crush zone to improve occupant safety in the event of a collision. The bus has an estimated curb weight of only 9,600 pounds, which represents a mass reduction of 64% compared to conventional buses, thereby improving passenger-carrying payload and fuel economy. In addition to the weight and fuel economy improvements, Department of Energy officials expect the bus to be 40% less costly to build.
UQM Technologies, Inc., located in Frederick, Colorado, is a developer and manufacturer of power-dense, high-efficiency electric motors, generators, and power electronic controllers for the automotive, aerospace, telecommunications, medical, military, and industrial markets. Autokinetics Inc., located in Rochester Hills, Michigan, is a leader in the design and development of advanced vehicle structures.