Busworld 2023 is being held at Brussels Expo Busworld 2023 is being held at Brussels Expo (Photo: DPI)

Busworld 2023 has held its opening press day at the Brussels Expo in the Belgian capital. The trade show will run from October 7 to 12.

Billed as ‘the largest bus- and coach-only B2B exhibition in the world’, Busworld serves as a platform for the latest launches from bus, coach and minibus manufacturers. A range of Tier suppliers also present their latest innovations at the fair.

Most OEMs present at Busworld 2023 are introducing models with low- or zero-emission powertrains. These vehicles can help coach operators and transit authorities reduce related pollution levels, while the lower noise levels help to improve the passenger experience.

Case in point is the MAN Lion City E (Hall 4, Stand 401), which took the International Bus of the Year award. The model features six roof-mounted battery packs which have a storage capacity of 480 kWh. With this, the bus is said to have a maximum range in excess of 500 km, which should be sufficient for a day’s service.

MAN Lion City E at Busworld 2023 MAN Lion City E at Busworld 2023 (Photo: DPI)

The 10.5 metre model features a central electric motor driving a single-speed transmission. Power is 160 kW continuous and 240 kW peak.

Although the Lion City E was launched just before the COVID pandemic, it is still considered one of the latest and best electric buses on the market.

Of the five models put forward for testing in the final competition, the Lion City E delivered the lowest onboard noise levels while driving. Additionally, the suspension was setup to virtually eliminate any impact of the high-mass battery packs.

Looking at other OEM launches, Scania has shown its new battery-electric bus platform (Hall 4, Stand 404). This is a low-entry BEV chassis for Class 1 and Class 2 operations. Also on display is the Scania Castrosua LE 4x2 which is based on the new platform.

Scania has targeted biofuels as a route to sustainable transportation Scania has targeted biofuels as a route to sustainable transportation (Photo: Scania)

Upgraded variants of the Scania Touring and an LBG/LNG version of the Scania Irizar i6s Efficient are also on display. The company has targeted biofuels as a route to sustainable future transport.

“We are continuously aligning our operations and solutions towards sustainable development and are focused on managing our impact on people and the environment throughout the value chain. Our new e-mobility solutions are excellent examples and we are really excited to bring this to market,” said Tobias Siöström, Marketing Communications manager, People Transport Solutions.

Electric chassis

Also at Busworld 2023, ZF’s Commercial Vehicle Solutions division (Hall 5, Stand 537) has launched its AxTrax 2 LF electric portal axle, designed specifically for low-floor city buses.

The new electric axle features a compact and lightweight system that features integrated electric wheel hub drive.

ZF AxTrax2 LF electric bus chassis ZF AxTrax2 LF electric bus chassis (Photo: ZF)

“AxTrax 2 LF represents the latest step in ZF’s support for commercial vehicle manufacturers towards the transition to zero emissions technologies,” explained Winfried Gründler, Driveline Systems Product Line Leader with the Commercial Vehicle Solutions division.

“Whether it is complete turn-key systems or components, ZF has the one-stop-shop capabilities to help electrify manufacturers’ vehicle platforms worldwide.”

The AxTrax 2 LF features two stand-alone silicon carbide invertors and a high-performance electric control unit. Series production is set to start in 2025.

Staying with Tier suppliers, Kempower (Hall 8, Stand 833a) has presented its DC fast charging solution. The modular and scalable system allows operators to scale up their charging infrastructure as electric fleets are expanded.

The system can dynamically distribute charging capacity to individual vehicles, identifying which need the most current. This maximises the power capacity across depots and charging hubs.

Kempower charging hub Kempower charging hub (Photo: Kempower)

“Decarbonizing public transportation is a top global priority, with increased numbers of electric buses deployed across cities worldwide,” said Tommi Liuska, Kempower’s chief sales officer.

“Our charging technology is playing a crucial role in this e-mobility transition by providing easily scalable charging infrastructure with dynamic charging capabilities, enabling fleet operators to run reliable and efficient services.”

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