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by Brett Davis

Famous Italian design company Pininfarina has unveiled an innovative Pininfarina hybrid bus concept which uses an existing bus platform, matched with a modern hybrid powertrain setup.

It may seem a bit strange that a company responsible for the design of some of the world’s most beautiful cars, such as the Ferrari 250, Alfa Romeo GTV and the Maserati GranTurismo, as well as many other supercars, is also thinking of ways to conserve the environment for the future.

It’s also strange that the company is not coming up with its own unique exterior design for the new bus. Instead, the concept is based on a near-20-year-old Iveco conventional bus platform, while it’s what’s underneath that’s completely redesigned.

The Pininfarina hybrid bus concept features two Magneti Marelli electric motors which drive the rear wheels. Power is sent to the motors from a lithium-ion battery pack and electric generator which sends mechanical energy through a collector-reduction transmission.

This electric generator system is then backed up by a 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel engine. A specific range or plug-in recharge time hasn’t been mentioned, but Pininfarina says that using an existing platform like this could significantly reduce costs associated with bringing in new fuel-efficient technology to infrastructures.

Pininfarina sees this concept as a potential solution to Turin’s overall pollution output and says adapting this technology to existing buses would be around 60 per cent cheaper than purchasing all new, more efficient buses.

It seems like a good idea on the whole, what do you think?




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