Saturday 15 December 2018
Vantura Systems

Buses that think they’re trams


Van Hool and Solaris to display new BRT products The French call it BHNS (bus à haut niveau de service) - it translates to ‘bus to high level of service’ but there isn’t an example of it in the UK. The Cambridgeshire busway might be a showcase of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), but the vehicles are conventional, albeit brand new and highly specified. With BHNS, the vehicle must look and feel different to a conventional bus. It’s for cities that can’t afford a tram, but want something more than a bus. A number of manufacturers have been trying to get in on this market, and they’ll be putting their latest BHNS offerings on display at the Busworld Kortrijk show next month. Belgian bus builder Van Hool will be displaying its new ExquiCity bus platform at Busworld. Van Hool claims that the vehicle combines the flexibility of a bus with the efficiency (and appearance) of a tram. The vehicle can be a trolley bus, diesel/electric hybrid bus, fuel cell hybrid bus or a full electric vehicle. It is meanwhile offered as an articulated or bi-articulated bus. Van Hool has already sold 39 ExquiCity vehicles. Mettis, of Metz, France, has ordered 27 bi-articulated versions of the diesel-electric ExquiCity hybrid buses. The first vehicle will start a year-long test programme next Spring of 2012. TEP of Parma, Italy, is has order nine ExquiCity trolley buses from Van Hool and Vossloh Kiepe for delivery from mid-2012. Finally, TMB of Barcelona. Spain, is purchasing three diesel-electric ExquiCity buses. Meanwhile, Polish manufacturer Solaris will be exhibiting is Urbino 18 hybrid vehicle, using a parallel hybrid system supplied by Allison Transmission. Its eye-catching, futuristic design has been developed for French BHNS operation, with styling that echoes a modern tram. 

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