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TdS Report #30: Team Profile: AVS22 Hybrid - Electric Bus

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TdS Report #30: Team Profile: AVS22 Hybrid - Electric Bus

To my knowledge, we have had 3 full-sized buses participate at the Tour de Sol
(I'm not counting buses that showed up for only one or two displays):
An US Electricar bus in 1995
A Bluebird electric school bus in 2000

And this year we have an AVS Hybrid - Electric Bus from Advanced Vehicle
Systems in Chattanooga Tennessee. I asked Kirk Shore, Marketing Representative
for AVS, to describe it.

"AVS is a privately held manufacturer of electric and turbine-hybrid electric
transit buses. This is a series hybrid-electric vehicle (which means the fuel
is used to generate electricity, that in turn runs the electric motor). It has
the ability to drive 25 to 45 miles, depending on the terrain, in zero emission
mode, just on battery power. The there is a small `jet engine' in the back, a
Capstone micro-turbine, that puts out 30 kiloWatts to charge the batteries
while you drive. The turbine comes on and off during the day as needed,
automatically. The turbine is a unique breakthrough technology in that it is
combusting fuel at 1100 degrees Fahrenheit. A `recouperator' then combusts the
fuel 8, 9, 10 times before it ever hits the air. The exhaust is 500 degrees F.
The result is 98% complete combustion, with very, very low emissions. For
example, this vehicle on diesel fuel is as clean as or cleaner than some
internal combustion engines are on compressed natural gas. It's even cleaner
on propane and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)."

A brochure gives a comparison table:
Engine / Fuel NOx HC CO PM
Diesel engine running CNG 1.5 0.8 2.2 0.01
Capstone Turbine Diesel 30kW 0.75 0.30 0.40 0.01

I presume the columns are:
NOx Oxides of Nitrogen
HC Hydro Carbon
CO Carbon Monoxide
PM Particulate Matter

An added benefit is that the bus delivers the low emissions of CNG using the
existing diesel infrastructure, which allows for quick adoption without the
added investment of CNG pumps, etc. And since it has a significant electric
range, plugging it in at night can also save money.

When fully charged and with a full 53 gallons of fuel the bus has a range of
250 miles. A normal bus would probably go 120-150 miles on the same fuel. As
they say, "Your mileage will vary."

And the vehicle is less complex. There is no transmission. The two electric
AC motors drive the rear wheels through a reduction hub. The turbine uses air
bearings, so there is no lubrication there. It does have 3 injectors and an

"The high maintenance item is the reusable air intake filter. It needs to be
taken out once a week and cleaned because the turbine sucks in a lot of air.
That's pretty easy; just pop the panel, clean it and put it back in."

There are currently 150 of these vehicles in service around the world. "If you
write me a check, I can hand you the keys."

Vehicle Name AVS22 Hybrid - Electric Bus
Vehicle Number E001
vehicle type category Hybrid electric
Team Name AVS
Organization Advanced Vehicle Systems
City Chattanooga
State TN
new this year? new team and bus
Vehicle Manufacturer Advanced Vehicle Systems, Inc.
Vehicle Model Year 2001
Vehicle Type Class Heavy Duty
Vehicle Type Division Production
Vehicle Type Model AVS22
sale price $260,000
motor kW continuous 34 kW
motor kW peak 78 kW
motor manufacturer Solectria
motor type AC Induction
Energy Storage Manufacturer Sonnenschein
Batteries series
Battery Sonnenschein/
Battery 576 cells/ series/ $14,000
Battery 57.6 Whrs/ 288 V/ 6000 lbs
battery voltage 288 V
battery blocks 576 cells
battery watt hrs 57.6 Whrs
battery weight 6000 lbs
battery cost $14,000
control system manufacturer Solectria
control system type UMOL
regenerative braking? Regen
charger capacity 10 kW
charger current 30 A
charger input voltage 208 V
charger manufacturer PEI
charger on board? On board
charger type Line Charger
Conversion Purpose-Built
body material Fiberglass body
frame material Steel frame
Length both L: 22 ft/ 0 in
Width both W: 8 ft/ 6 in
Height both H: 8 ft/ 6 in
# seats 22
Weight pounds 19050 lbs
Mfg GVW 4400 lbs
lbs of persons 200
brake front type Front Disc
brake rear type Rear Drum
Hybrid Architecture series
engine size ? liters
fuel tank capacity 53
fuel tank type Diesel
Fuel Type Diesel
No of Passengers 3
number of tires 4
tire manufacturer Michelin
Range miles 150 miles
Program blurb The AVS-22 is a quick, clean, and quiet 22' bus.
The hybrid technology enables the AVS-22 to
achieve "Ultra Low Emission Vehicle" status while
maintaining the performance of a conventional
diesel bus. 150 are in service around the world.
The bus is built by Advanced Vehicle Systems
(AVS), a recognized leader in Electric and
Hybrid-Electric Bus technology in the US.

- - - -
The complete set of Tour de Sol Reports for 2002 can be found at:
The complete set of past Tour de Sol Reports can be found at:
- - - -
The above is Copyright 2002 by Michael H. Bianchi.
Permission to copy is granted provided the entire article is presented
without modification and this notice remains attached.
For other arrangements, contact me at +1-973-822-2024 .
- - - -
For more on the NESEA Tour de Sol, see the web page at
- - - -
Official NESEA Tour de Sol information is available from the sponsor,
the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) at
413 774-6051 , and 50 Miles Street, Greenfield, MA 01301 , and
[email protected] . All media enquiries should be addressed to ...
Jack Groh
Groh Associates
[email protected] email
401 732-1551 telephone
401 732-0547 fax
401 952-0886 cell/pager
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