Dual battery system powers transit bus

Engineers at GE Global Research have paired a high-energy density sodium battery with a high-power lithium battery to power a transit bus.

GE’s dual battery system is claimed to combine the best attributes of both chemistries into a single system. In the hybrid transit bus demonstration, the lithium battery provided the high power required to accelerate the bus, while the sodium battery provided an even electric power flow for long driving ranges.

The GE engineers claim that the dual system can reduce the cost of a battery system by up to 20 per cent compared to a single battery system for vehicles such as transit buses and delivery trucks that require significant power and energy storage capacity.

’With the cost of the battery remaining a principal hurdle, a dual battery system could bring these costs down and help accelerate the electric revolution for bus and delivery truck fleets,’ said Lembit Salasoo, senior electrical engineer and principal investigator on the hybrid bus project at GE Global Research.

Research into the dual system is being carried out as part of a $13m (£8.3m) research project GE is engaged in with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Northeast Advanced Vehicle Consortium, funded under the US National Fuel Cell Bus Program.