New Optare Solo SR hybrid bus goes into service

The ultra-low emission Solo SR is being used on the six-day-a-week hourly service between Dalston and Cotehill via Carlisle. The service has been rebranded as the ‘Eco Hopper’.

Optare Solo
Seating capacity is 31 and a further 21 standees takes the total passenger capacity to 52, which is more than sufficient to meet peak time demands. The low entry height, front kneeling capability and simple fold-out wheelchair ramp also makes the Soloseasy to use by passengers of all levels of mobility.

A Siemens ELFA series hybrid drive system powers the bus. This well proven system uses AC induction motors for their ruggedness and simple controls. As the use of an electric drive does not require a multi-speed gearbox there are no step changes during acceleration and deceleration resulting in a smoother and quieter ride. Two induction motors are coupled together through a summation gearbox to drive the rear axle.

A Euro 5 compliant Mercedes-Benz OM904LA engine powers a generator to produce electricity for storage in the roof-mounted Ultracapacitors. All auxiliary systems – brakes, doors, suspension, 24v system and hydraulics – are powered by ancillaries integrated into the diesel engine.