Gyrodrive debuts in Oxford

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Oxford Bus Company (OBC) and Brookes University are using F1 technology to make the BrookesBus network even greener.

A new fleet of 20 buses for the BrookesBus network has been unveiled by the Go-Ahead-owned firm, fitted with the latest hybrid Gyrodrive technology that dramatically reduces fuel consumption and emissions.

The innovative system is based on Formula 1 race technology and was developed by Williams at Grove, Oxfordshire. The unit was sold to engineering firm GKN and its Hybrid Power division earlier this year.

The new technology is being fitted to 14 all-new ADL Enviro400MMC Euro 6 buses entering the Brookes fleet – also the first Enviro400MMCs to enter public service – and to six existing ADL Enviro400s to be used on peak-time services. In all it represents an investment of 3.7m.

OBC Operations Director Phil Southall says: “Although the concept has been trialled in London, these new buses will be the first Gyrodrive hybrids to go into regular service.

“The new buses are a fitting way to mark our continued partnership with Oxford Brookes University and the start of our second five-year contract to operate the BrookesBus network.

“It achieves the benefits of electric hybrids at a fraction of the cost.”

The system uses a carbon fibre high-speed flywheel to store the energy generated by a bus as it slows down. It then uses the stored energy to power an electric motor that helps accelerate the bus, generating fuel savings of more than 20% at a significantly lower cost than battery hybrid alternatives.