At a transport exhibition in Milan, Italian firm Pininfarina showed off its hybrid diesel-electric bus prototype. This styling firm is best known for having worked on cars like the Ferrari F40 and Maserati GranTurismo. The original inspiration for the Hybus project was Pininfarina’s goal to lessen the pollution in Turin, which is the location of Pininfarina’s headquarters.
The styling company is doing the project with Turinese transport group GTT and FAAM, which makes batteries. A 17-year-old Iveco bus design was converted to accommodate a 1.3-litre Multi-jet diesel power unit mated to an electric generator, which sends energy to the primary lithium-ion battery pack.
The firm retained the original rear axle and drive-line. It also now comes equipped with two Magneti Marelli electric motors coupled to a collector-reduction gearbox. FAAM supplied the lithium-ion battery pack and the battery management system. Meanwhile, the new powerplant and ancillaries management is integrated with the basic original electrical/electronic design.
When the vehicle is braking, kinetic energy is recovered by Hybus so that the batteries could be recharged. The model shown in Milan is Pininfarina’s first demonstration prototype. Pininfarina claimns that adapting old buses to feature new technology is around 60% less expensive than purchasing new hybrid vehicles.
Pininfarina's Design and Engineering Centre was tasked with developing the Hybus. It is the product of the company’s goal to concentrate a portion of its resources on hybrid and electric mobility. In early October, the company said that it will give up the car body building part of its business but it will keep its design and engineering services. [source: Autocar]