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Volksbus e-Flex: a tailor-made electrical solution for passenger transport

October 02 2019

VWCO`s electric-drive bus is being tested at the company`s plant in Resende and is already demonstrating its efficiency, while improvements are being made on the basis of data collected during the testing of VW`s e-Delivery truck, thanks to the sharing of components and the company`s flexible architecture.

Since it was first shown at IAA in Germany in 2018, improvements and adjustments have been made to maximize the use of regenerative braking, which now exceeds 40%, and is demonstrating the potential for increasing the range beyond the 200 km specified for its lithium ion battery pack. The vehicle has also been equipped with a cooling system for greater durability and the positioning of components has been adjusted to improve efficiency.

The bus has a modular and flexible layout which makes it possible for a single model to meet all the different requirements of electric mobility. It can operate as a pure electric vehicle using the plug-in concept or make use of power supplied by a generator driven by one of the world`s most efficient dual-fuel engines - the VW 1.4 TSI Flex - or by the 1.4 TGI version fueled by natural or biomethane gas. This system provides extended range and allows the vehicle to be used in regions where the charging infrastructure is still under development.

In this way, the bus can operate as a battery electric vehicle (BEV), a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), a plug-in electric hybrid vehicle (PHEV) or as a range-extended electric vehicle (REEV). The vehicle`s performance remains the same, independent of the way the batteries are charged. The charging system is activated automatically by the vehicle`s electronic system as soon as it detects a previously-programed charge level in the battery pack.

“We have designed a vehicle that anticipates and resolves the challenges involved in introducing them, producing zero emissions in green areas with emission restrictions and able to operate while the necessary infrastructure is still under development. We are fulfilling our mission to help shape the transport industry of the future with vehicles with optimized operational costs capable of delivering a rapid return on investment," says Roberto Cortes, President and CEO of Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus and a Board member of the TRATON GROUP.