Alstom has recently revealed their 12 metre long Aptis electric bus which they are calling a ground-breaking solution to urban mobility in the form a bus, which has a total capacity of up to 95 passengers.
The French rail provider have long been heavily involved in the UK’s rail network and are looking to continue this onto our roads with an electric bus that offers an attractive alternative to both cars and trams.
Aptis boasts an impressive 12 metre long total length which is acclaimed to carry up to 95 passengers due to its cleverly designed layout.
“With Aptis, we complete our electric mobility offering and we are now able to offer cities a full range of urban solutions,” says Alstom Chairman and CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge.
“It was a challenge to create this concept, which has been made possible thanks to NTL’s agility and knowledge and Alstom’s expertise in traction and system integration. This environmentally-friendly solution will revolutionise urban transport.”
The Aptis vehicle can come with either two or three doors and the passenger area can include a rear lounge, and seats can also be removed or added depending on requirements throughout the bus’ life. The bus has been extensively glazed on all sides which makes the journey feel quite tram inspired.
All four wheels are positioned in the corners and the only part of the vehicle which isn’t ‘low-floor’ is each of these wheel arches but to retain manoeuvrability they can all be steered and can also perform a crab like manoeuvre to be able to park in difficult situations.
Floor height of the Aptis bus is 330mm and its electric motor can deliver 180kW of power which enables it to climb a 13% grade when loaded to its maximum capacity of 95, or a 20% incline when empty.
Charging is via two different means. One involves bringing on board enough energy via a six-hour overnight plug-in to complete a full day’s operation.
The other means is by either an inverted pantograph or Alstom’s SRS system, which is a ground-based opportunity charging concept, which both take around five minutes to recharge the bus sufficiently enough for its next journey.
“When installed on Aptis, SRS provides the ability to charge the bus each time it reaches the end of the route, instead of just in the depot. Thus fewer batteries are required on the version with SRS,” says Alstom.
Alstom and NTL add that they will provide not only the vehicle, but an all-encompassing operating system for those who choose the model. This will include charging options; dimensioning; leasing and warranty; and road infrastructure.
“Thanks to low maintenance and operational costs, and a longer lifetime compared with other buses, Aptis has a total cost of ownership equivalent to that of a diesel bus,” says Alstom. The electric concept bus is designed for a 20-year life, as is its electric motor, which is air-cooled and inspired by Alstom’s tram range.
“Alstom and NTL are also working on various innovative ways of selling Aptis. Some customers may buy only the vehicle, while others may prefer a bundle with maintenance.
“Our two companies are also working with investors and leasing companies to develop an offer targeting operators who do not own vehicles, or who own only the body and not the batteries,” it adds.
Whether Aptis comes here remains to be seen. At the moment, Alstom is targeting Europe’s leading electric bus markets. But there is every chance that in the coming years, the UK will become a member of this club.