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First Automobile Works (FAW) – China Aggressive Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Manufacturer – Part 2

This is Part 2 of a two-part series. In Part 1, we look at the history of First Automobile Works (FAW) and its collaboration with Toyota. In this Part article, we will discuss FAW’s recent progress in commercializing hybrid buses.

China FAW Group Corporation is currently considered the number one automobile manufacturer in China, and is also one of the oldest in the industry, dating back to 1953. FAW Group, or more commonly known simply as FAW, has a broad base of products, from passenger cars, mini vehicles (utility vehicles), sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and light trucks to commercial trucks, buses and coaches.

CA6100SH8 Hybrid Coach

Since the early 1990s, many global bus chassis manufacturers followed FAW’s lead by investing heavily in the research and development of a commercially viable hybrid drive bus platform. With a strong code of environmental responsibility, FAW prioritized the development of new state-of-the-art hybrid bus chassis in early 2002 that could reduce vehicle emissions and increase fuel economy.

Imagining the potential of FAW’s new technology, the project received the full support of China’s central government, which has taken an aggressive stance within the current 5-year national development plan to reduce both emissions and fuel consumption in the whole country. Thanks to the joint efforts of the FAW Group R&D Center and FAW Bus & Coach Company, the Wuxi division of FAW Bus & Coach completed two hybrid bus prototypes on December 10, 2005.

The factory is now ready to begin mass production of the new CA6100SH8 hybrid municipal transit bus, designed for the increasingly popular BRT (bus rapid transit) systems and traditional in-city mass transit. This revolutionary new model with 10 patented patents offers an increase in fuel economy of 38% and a reduction in emissions of 30%, compared to traditional buses. With a Euro 3 emission rating, the new 80 kW parallel hybrid powertrain is scheduled for Euro 4 certification at the end of 2006.

At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, twenty of these CA6100SH8 hybrid buses, called Hybrid “City Bus”, successfully completed field tests on real passenger routes within the Olympic sector. The hybrid “City Bus” buses employed Enova System_s pre-transmission hybrid powertrains and “exceeded all expectations,” according to Liu Minghue, executive director of engineering for FAW’s hybrid-electric transit bus test.

Jiefang CA6120URH Hybrid Bus

This month, Enova confirmed that it has delivered the first seventy (70) hybrid pre-transmission powertrains to First Auto Works. FAW has ordered one hundred and fifty (150) additional hybrid powertrains for delivery in 2009. The Enova powertrain will be integrated and branded on FAW buses under the hybrid name Jiefang CA6120URH. The 12-meter (40-foot) Jiefang low-floor hybrid bus can carry 103 passengers and travel at a maximum speed of 85 kilometers per hour (km / h) or 53 miles per hour (mph). The bus meets Euro III emission standards. It will consume just 30 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (equivalent to 7.84 miles per gallon) and discharge 20 percent less emissions.

According to a report by busesline.com, the Dalian municipal government ordered 150 of Jiefang’s hybrid buses. Fifty of them will be running in the city during the Davos summer event, which is the 2009 Annual Meeting of New Champions, held by the World Economic Forum from September 10 to 12, 2009. In October, another 100 Jiefang hybrid buses It will come into use in the city of Changchun, capital of northeast China’s Jilin Province.

Inauguration of the new Hyrbid bus plant in Dalian

To keep up with the Chinese central government’s goal of 500,000 electric and hybrid vehicles over the next few years, FAW Group Corporation held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new energy bus plant in the Dalian Economic and Technological Development Zone on 5th June. Dalian City officials, FAW Group Chairman Xu Jianyi and FAW Group Vice Chairman Qin Huanming.

Building the new production base for the new energy vehicle is one of the important parts of the FAW Group development plan. Construction of the new plant is scheduled to be completed in July 2010. The plant’s annual production capacity is expected to reach 3,000 units, including 1,500 hybrid buses by 2013.

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