Eaton to Supply Hybrid Power Systems for Chinese Buses

April 09, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

Eaton Corp. has been selected to provide hybrid power systems for two prototype buses to be built by Beiqi Foton AUV Bus Company. The buses will be field tested in major Chinese cities, including Shanghai and Beijing, in 2006. Beiqi Foton said its goal is to win as many new orders as possible for the clean bus competition for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

"China plans to utilize world-class technologies to help reduce pollution and improve fuel efficiency for the nation's vehicle fleet, and we're eager to help them," said Ken Davis, Eaton vice president and president - Light and Medium Duty Transmission Division. "Foton is working hard to prove these technologies and win the clean bus competition, and we are proud to work with them in this effort. Eaton is a company committed to growth through breakthrough technologies, and this project exemplifies the innovation that customers have come to expect from us."

The two Foton buses will employ an Eaton hybrid power system comprised of an Eaton automated transmission system, advanced motor/generator, high-power battery pack and system controller, mated to a Cummins ISBe 5.9L Euro III engine. Eaton utilizes a parallel hybrid system architecture, which maintains conventional mechanical drivetrain architecture but adds the ability to augment engine torque with electrical horsepower.

"Foton's AUV HEV bus is a prominent achievement and represents Foton's strong research ability, integration of global resources, and a strategy combining self-innovation and international cooperation," said Mr. Fan Wentang, assistant president of Beiqi Foton Motor and general manger of Beiqi Foton AUV Bus Company. "The drivability, reliability and lower operation cost of AUV bus will be the biggest highlights to attract the bus fleet customers."

The first bus, at 11.4 meters in length and 15,500 kg GVW, was built in January 2006, and went into prototype testing in March. It has accumulated about 3,700 kilometers with no hybrid powertrain reliability issues. It will soon be placed into field testing, and is currently being showcased in a city bus demonstration event in Beijing, March 18-20. The second bus, at 12 meters and 17,800 kg GVW, will be built in May and field tested in August 2006.