The Flybus consortium has reached a significant milestone with the successful integration of prototype hardware into an Optare Solo Midibus. The Flybus system, which should cost significantly less than current electric hybrids, uses a Ricardo Kinergy flywheel as the energy storage medium and a Torotrak continuously variable transmission (CVT) as the means of transferring energy between the wheels and the flywheel. The entire installation is mounted on the existing transmission’s Power Take Off facility.
Improvements in fuel economy of up to 22.4 percent (in the new ARTEMIS test cycle, which represents typical real-world usage today) have been demonstrated by a research vehicle fitted with a flywheel hybrid system including stop-start. Developed by a consortium of British companies as part of the Government-supported Flywheel Hybrid System for Premium Vehicles (FHSPV) programme, the mechanically-driven flywheel system delivers up to 80bhp (82PS, 60kW) of recovered energy from a self-contained hybrid module.