FLIXBUS STARTS PILOT PROJECT WITH SOLAR PANELS ON BUS
FlixBus has installed solar panels on its green bus that runs from Dortmund (Germany), via Eindhoven (Netherlands), Antwerp, Bruges (Belgium) and Calais (France) to London (UK). This route is operated by Kupers Touringcars of the Netherlands and a partner in this solar-project. The solar panels generate energy for the bus’ electrical consumption. This effectively reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
The solar mats installed on the roof of the FlixBus are ultra-thin and lightweight to prevent air resistance. The solar mats on the roof communicate with the alternator in the bus through a charge controller. The new technology charges the bus battery mainly by solar energy, relieving the alternator of the need to charge it using fuel. During the trial period, an average of 1.7 litres of diesel was saved per 100 km. With an average distance of 600 kilometres per day, this is a daily fuel saving of around 10 litres. The solar panels are expected to produce more energy during the summer. The battery, in turn, supplies the power consumption of all the electronics on board such as USB ports, sockets, air conditioning, wi-fi and the media entertainment system. With the new technology, all on board equipment is now powered by solar energy.
For this pilot project, FlixBus is working with Trailar, a British company that offers innovative transport solutions to reduce the environmental impact of commercial vehicles. The flexible solar mats have been specially developed for use in the transport sector and are already being used for trucks and delivery services. Director of Kupers Touringcars, Bert Fonteijn, says he is very very proud to have one of his double-deckers participating in this international pilot project. Trailar, Kupers Touringcars and FlixBus continue to regularly evaluate the results and improve the project. The technology is designed in such a way that the data, and therefore the yield, can be monitored. Circumstances can be optimised, ultimately reducing CO2 emissions as much as possible.
The solar-bus currently runs twice a week from Dortmund to London. From April the frequency of the service will be extended to a daily service during the holiday periods. Jesper Vis, managing director of FlixBus Benelux, says that after evaluation of this pilot project Flixbus might want to extent this project to more buses or even all the buses in the Flixbus network.