Electric Fuel Corp. and General Electric Co. have announced plans to jointly develop a new all-electric, battery/battery hybrid propulsion system for powering electric buses and heavy duty trucks. The first use for the power system will be an all-electric, zero-emission, full-size transit bus. The bus, which will weigh about 20 tons, will be able to carry 90 people and is expected to be able to run an 8-10 hour shift without recharging.
The hybrid system consists of a main power source, an Electric Fuel zinc-air battery, and an auxiliary battery. The vehicle draws cruising energy from the zinc-air battery, and supplementary power for acceleration, merging into traffic, and hill climbing from the auxiliary battery. When stopping or slowing down, the bus retarding system is designed to act as an energy-generator, recharging the auxiliary battery.
The Israeli-U.S. Bi-national Industrial Research and Development Foundation is funding the development of the propulsion system.