i2e is Europe’s first production electric bus
Irizar Group has launched its i2e fully-electric bus in San Sebastian, Northern Spain, to the world’s media. The Irizar i2e is the first European-built electric bus in series production, with examples in Barcelona as well as San Sebastian. It has been a joint project by Irizar Group companies, including the CREATIO R&D centre, door maker Masats, technology company Datik, electronics subsidiary Jema and air conditioning specialist Hispacold. The 12-metre, two-axle bus has a range of 200km-plus on one, five-hour charge – around 14 to 16 hours of typical city bus driving. It uses 99% recyclable sodium nickel batteries which are less costly than lithium ion batteries. It has been through Irizar’s challenging endurance testing programme.
As 60% of Europe’s people live in cities, eliminating pollution is one of the greatest challenges faced by city centres. Conventionally-fuelled vehicles are responsible for 40% of CO2 emissions and 70% of other particulates and gases. The i2e reduces CO2 emissions by 88 tonnes and saves 33,000 litres of fuel use.
The i2e is the first electric bus to reach R66 roll-over, and incorporates an energy storage management system devised by Jema Energy to manage the charge between its batteries and its super condensers so that it can have an extended range and reduce operational costs. The battery packs have a ten-year life. Irizar has a planned investment of €60 million for development of the i2e development and production facility, which it expects to be complete by 2016. Until then, Irizar’s existing production facility at Ormaiztegi will manufacture the vehicle.