New contenders for 2012 Olympics

Some tantalising technologies are being employed in British hybrid drive buses for the London Olympics

Oil-cooled induction motors are crucial to a new design of hybrid bus - hundreds of which may well be carrying visitors to the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Designed by a company (now owned by BAe Systems) in Johnson City, New York, the motors are being incorporated into British designed and built buses through a facility set up in Rochester, Kent. Here, a suitably equipped red double decker bus has been seen doing repeated stops and starts, as it simulates a London bus route round the car park.

So far, hybrid drives with the motors - using the name, ‘HybriDrive’ - have been installed in more than 1,200 buses delivered to New York, San Francisco, Houston and Toronto, with another 1,500 buses on order.

The order the company is most keen to secure right now is the 500 hybrid buses that Transport for London says it wants to purchase to take visitors to the 2012 Olympic Games - and then use locally thereafter.

Tom Shelley

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