Development of a range of series-hybrid city buses.

Project Details


Within the framework of this project, bus manufacturer Van Hool NV develops three new models series-hybrid busses, powered by supercapacitor-assisted drivetrains. Van Hool NV aims to reduce fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions by 20%, in comparison with classical diesel-engine based vehicles. In addition, a decrease of the noise level and life cycle cost is targeted. VUB/ETEC carries out the assessment of the newly conceived drivetrains.

Two tools are developed for that purpose. Firstly an automated real-time data acquisition setup is conceived and implemented: it monitors all relevant parameters related to the power flow in the drivetrain during on-road measurement campaigns. This includes the measurement of the power flow between the different components of the drivetrain, as well as the logging of global vehicle parameters like speed and inclination. The system is based on hard- and software of National Instruments.Secondly a Matlab-based software platform was developed for the simulation of the dynamic behaviour of the drivetrain. For each component of the drivetrain a simulation module is developed, based on the specifications supplied by Van Hool NV and its subcontractors. The platform simulates the power flow between the different components of the drivetrain and generates an optimized power flow management method for reduced consumption and tailpipe emissions. In addition it allows optimizing the dimensions of the electric components of the drivetrain. Comparing the simulated and measured results, one can refine the simulated model on the one hand, and investigate whether the implemented power flow management on the bus can be enhanced on the other hand. Suggested improvements can then be implemented and verified with a second on-road measurement campaign.

Effective start/end date1/11/0831/12/10


  • Electric Installations
  • Computational Electromagnetics
  • Numerical Electromagnetic Simulations
  • lighting
  • Electric Vehicles

Flemish discipline codes

  • Mechanical and manufacturing engineering
  • Electrical and electronic engineering
  • Chemical sciences