Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) will supply two electric buses to serve in a zero emissions transportation system being planned by the city of Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. The buses – full-size, low-floor models for the city’s regular route network – will operate on MHI’s high-performance “MLiX” lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. In combination with a lighter body enabled by the partial adoption of carbon fiber construction, the new buses will be able to operate continuously over dramatically increased distances, providing a quiet and comfortable ride to passengers with zero gas emissions.
The new buses measure 11.065 meters (m) in length, 2.495m in width and 3.475m in height, and weigh 11,250 kilograms (kg). Use of a specially developed charger enables full recharging in approximately half the required time, compared with current CHAdeMO type quick charging systems. The buses will be able to travel up to 80 kilometers (km) on a full charge, at a top speed of 85km per hour. Load capacity is 72 passengers.
Kitakyushu’s plans call for the new buses to go into service in the city in late March. In October, renewable energy generated by solar power will be stored in an energy storage system (ESS) for use in recharging, resulting in a zero emissions transportation system.
The MLiX lithium-ion rechargeable battery to be featured on the new electric buses is lightweight, compact in size, and offers outstanding reliability and long service life. The battery has already achieved a significant track record through its widespread adoption in cargo container-type energy storage systems, hybrid forklifts and other advanced products developed and marketed by MHI.