Wrightbus will exclusively utilise the Voith Electrical Drive System (VEDS) in the second-generation of its battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell-electric buses, the two parties have announced.
The first major Wrightbus order to be fitted with VEDS will be 80 battery-electric StreetDeck double-deckers for Northern Irish operator Translink. They are to commence delivery from August. Those vehicles form part of a wider £66m contract with Wrightbus that will see 100 zero-emission buses delivered to the state-owned undertaking.
The Voith product is based on a powerful water-cooled permanent magnet motor with a high-efficiency inverter. That positively impacts energy consumption while permitting a compact design. VEDS is a modular system that can deliver a maximum power of 340kW, making it what Voith claims is one of the most powerful traction systems on the market for buses.
Wrightbus says it analysed all electrical drive systems available in Europe before concluding that VEDS delivers the best operating efficiency. That is a key consideration, particularly for double-deckers, adds Wrightbus Head of Advanced Technology Brian Maybin. He notes that the envelope and restricted weight capacity of a double-decker constrains the manufacturer’s ability to add more batteries to increase its range.
VEDS supports battery systems from a range of manufacturers. The collaboration between Wrightbus and Voith represents a further step in a well-established relationship that previously has been built around the use of Voith’s DIWA transmissions in Wrightbus’s diesel range.