Electrobuses: Valeo, SWM and MVG agree to innovation partnership

Stadtwerke München (SWM) and Münchner Verkehrsgesellschaft (MVG) have become key drivers in the development of electrobuses: to this end SWM and MVG have entered into an innovation partnership with Valeo. The purpose of the joint venture is to realise more efficient air conditioning and heating in electrobuses by the use of a heat pump.

Besides the joint venture with Valeo, further innovation partnerships already exist between MVG and the vehicle manufacturers MAN and EBUSCO B.V. The basic purpose
of the cooperations is to test new products or develop partial components under real operating conditions at MVG.

Latest generation of heat pump
At the focus of the partnership with Valeo is the conversion of an e-bus already in operation at MVG. This vehicle – fitted with the latest Valeo heat pump generation – is
the first to be put into public service at MVG in Munich. The system should heat the passenger compartment even in winter at temperatures below 0° and as a fall-back
solution it should make the existing diesel auxiliary heating virtually redundant. The heat pump that was hitherto installed functions only at temperatures significantly above 0° C.

For system optimisation, the vehicle was fitted out with extensive measuring instruments that record all operational conditions and environmental parameters in longterm operation along the line. The analysis of the readings supplies critical findings for Valeo, in its endeavours to make the heat pump technology even more efficient in the long term. In addition to battery efficiency, air conditioning in electrobuses constitutes one of the primary challenges in the development of series-production-ready e-vehicles. MVG Bus Manager Ralf Willrett says: “The range and thus deployment of our electrobuses should not be dependent on the weather. That is why we need heating and air conditioning systems that – as far as possible – do not draw their energy from the vehicle batteries. Diesel auxiliary heating can also only be an interim solution until heat pumps are so efficient that they can operate at full capacity in almost any weather. We want the operation of our e-buses to be climate-neutral.”

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