First Automobile Works (FAW) – China’s Aggressive Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Manufacturer – Part 2
This is Part 2 of a two part series. In Part 1 we looked at First Automobile Works (FAW) history and its collaboration with Toyota. In this Part article we’ll discuss FAW’s recent progress in bringing hybrid buses to market.
China FAW Group Corporation is currently billed as the number one automobile maker in China, and is also one of the oldest in the industry, dating back to 1953. FAW Group, or more commonly know as simply FAW, has a wide-ranging base of products, from passenger cars, mini (utility) vehicles, sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pickup trucks, to commercial trucks, buses and coaches.
CA6100SH8 Hybrid Coach
Since the early 1990s, many global bus chassis manufacturers followed FAW’s lead by making large investments toward the research and development of commercially viable hybrid-powered bus platform. With a strong code of environmental responsibility, FAW gave priority status to the development of new cutting edge hybrid bus chassis in early 2002 that could both lower vehicle emissions and increase fuel economy.
Envisioning the potential of FAW’s new technology, the project received full support from China’s central government, who has taken an aggressive stance within the current 5 year national development plan to reduce both emissions and fuel consumption nationwide. Through the joint efforts of FAW Group’s R & D Center and FAW Bus & Coach Company, two prototype hybrid-powered buses were completed by the Wuxi division of FAW Bus & Coach on Dec. 10, 2005.
The factory is now set to begin mass production of the new hybrid CA6100SH8 municipal transit bus, designed for today’s increasingly popular BRT systems (bus rapid transit) and traditional inner city mass transit. This revolutionary new model with 10 proprietary patents delivers a fuel economy increase of 38% and an emissions reduction of 30%, compared to traditional buses. With a Euro 3 emissions rating, the new 80kW parallel hybrid drive system is scheduled for Euro 4 certification by late 2006.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, twenty of these CA6100SH8 hybrid bus, called hybrid “City Bus,” successfully completed field trials on real passenger routes within the Olympic sector. The “City Bus” hybrid buses employed Enova System_s’ pre-transmission hybrid drive systems, and “exceeded all expectations” according to Liu Minghue, the Executive Director of Engineering for the FAW hybrid-electric transit bus trial.
Jiefang CA6120URH hybrid bus
This month Enova confirmed that it has delivered the first seventy (70) pre-transmission hybrid drive systems to First Auto Works. FAW has ordered an additional one hundred-fifty (150) hybrid drive systems for delivery in 2009. The Enova drive system will be integrated and branded in FAW buses under the name of Jiefang CA6120URH hybrid. The Jiefang 12 meter (40 foot) low floor hybrid bus can carry 103 passengers and travel at a maximum speed of 85 kilometers an hour (km/h) or 53 miles per hour (mph.) The bus meets Euro III emission standards. It will consume only 30 liters of fuel every 100 kilometers (equivalent to 7.84 miles per gallon) and discharge 20 percent less emissions.
According to a report on busesline.com, the municipal government of Dalian has ordered 150 of the Jiefang hybrid buses. Fifty of them will be running in the city during the Summer Davos event, which is the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2009, conducted by the World Economic Forum from 10-12 September, 2009. In October, another 100 Jiefang hybrid power buses will go into use in Changchun city, capital of northeast China’s Jilin province.
Groundbreaking For New Hyrbid Bus Plant in Dalian
To keep up with China’s central government’s goal of 500,000 electric and hybrid vehicles over the next hew years, FAW Group Corporation held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new-energy bus plant at Dalian Economic & Technological Development Zone on June 5. Attendees to the ceremony included officials from Dalian city, President Xu Jianyi of FAW Group and Vice President Qin Huanming of FAW Group.
Construction of the new production base of the new-energy vehicle is one of the important parts of FAW Group’s development plan. The new plant is scheduled finishing construction in July 2010. The plant’s annual production capacity is planned to reach 3,000 units including 1,500 hybrid buses before the year of 2013.