FPT Industrial natural gas engine powers new French hybrid tram bus
A high-performance natural gas engine designed and manufactured by FPT Industrial is providing the power behind a new hybrid tram bus that has just entered service in France, by Van Hool, a Belgian manufacturer of vehicles for public transport. The latest Van Hool Exqui.City features the new-generation FPT Industrial Cursor 9 NG engine, delivering maximum power of 221 kW at 2,000 rpm, and torque of 1,300 Nm at 1,000 rpm. The Brand’s six-cylinder engine delivers reliability and an extended product lifecycle to the hybrid tram bus, which commenced service in the municipality of Nimes on January 6.
At the heart of the Exqui.City is its multi-propulsion platform, which is designed to accommodate the latest and greenest alternative propulsion technologies. With this flexible platform, Van Hool confirms its experience in integrating new, more efficient and reliable technologies. City characteristics and topography are important factors that influence vehicle motorization. For Nimes, the hybrid natural gas/electric combination has been deemed the optimum solution.
FPT Industrial Cursor 9 NG engines for Van Hool feature ‘Start & Stop’, a technology that turns off the thermal engine when the vehicle approaches the bus stop. This reduces noise and gas exhaustion, bringing more comfort to the passengers. Once the passengers have boarded, the engine restarts, charging the electric batteries for traction.
FPT Industrial has already sold 10 Cursor 9 NG engines to Van Hool, with a further six planned to complete the tender. In January, the 10 tram buses, each of which measuring 24 meters in length, began operating a 20-minute service along the T2 line between Nîmes railway station and Carémeau CHU (the city’s hospital). Ultimately, it is estimated that around 25,000 people will use the shuttle every day.
Natural Gas is currently the most viable and low-cost sustainable solution for vehicles of this type; FPT Industrial leads the segment with some 50,000 engines sold worldwide. The Brand’s NG engines significantly reduce CO2 emissions, in both compressed and liquefied form. The engines can also run on biomethane, bringing emissions down to almost zero.
The Cursor 9 NG uses stoichiometric combustion and multipoint sequential injection, ensuring best-in-class fuel consumption. To comply with Euro VI emissions standards, the engine relies on a simple three-way catalyst, without EGR (exhaust gas recirculation).