Accelerating the production of greener, cleaner transport

Posted on 24 Nov 2014 by Jonny Williamson

GKN, one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of automotive and aerospace parts, has partnered with Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) to introduce more low carbon hybrid bus fleets to the nation’s roads.

Claimed to be an important step towards affordable, low emission buses, the deal agreed between GKN and Britain’s biggest bus and coach manufacturer aims to see 250 vehicles on UK roads during the next two years.

As part of the agreement, ADL has chosen GKN Hybrid Power as a preferred partner and committed to the purchase of 250 of its Gyrodrive electric flywheel systems.

Initially focusing on the introduction of low emission technology to bus fleets in London and Oxford, ADL reportedly anticipates a rapid deployment across the UK in the near future. The firm will also be working closely with GKN to develop the technology for potential export to international markets.

The Gyrodrive system uses a high speed, carbon fibre flywheel to store the energy generated by a bus as it slows down to a stop. This stored energy is then utilised to power a GKN EVO electric motor that helps accelerate the bus back up to spend, a process which could generate significant fuel savings at a lower cost than competing battery hybrid alternatives.

ADL’s Europ6 Enviro400 double-decker bus, fitted with the Gyrodrive system, recently achieved Low Carbon Emission Bus Certification, which acknowledges a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and entitles operators to enhanced fuel rebates.

According to GKN, its Gyrodrive system is designed to last for the life of the bus, eliminating the need for any battery changes, and offer lower whole-life costs than other options, “making it a truly viable proposition commercially.”

Earlier this year, transport operated Go-Ahead Group selected GKN to supply 500 systems for use on buses in cities across the UK following successful trials in London.

ADL CEO, Colin Robertson, commented: “[We are] now well established as Britain’s leading provider of advanced hybrid systems with almost 800 of our low carbon buses operating across the country.

“This alliance with GKN introduces a new dynamic to the market place, courtesy of a lower cost solution that provides significant fuel and greenhouse gas reductions, coupled with reliability and durability.”

In April 2014, GKN announced the acquisition of Williams Hybrid Power from Williams Grand Prix Engineering to form GKN Hybrid Power, focused on delivering hybrid solutions across multiple vehicle, power and industrial markets.