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Press Release

Future-Oriented Pilot Project: Conversion to CO2-Neutral Bus Thanks to Webasto Battery System

Stockdorf/Munich – October 7, 2020 – At Munich Airport Webasto, global systems partner to almost all automotive manufacturers, is showing off its Standard Battery System for electric vehicles in a fully operational environment. Here, the Webasto battery is installed in a bus operated by startup company CM Fluids (CMF). The young company has converted one of the airport’s used buses by fitting an innovative generator/electric drive system, and is now transferring passengers from A to B in a CO2-neutral manner. The system comprises an electric drive with an on-board charging station. During the conversion the drive axle from existing vehicles is replaced with an electric drive axle. The necessary electricity is supplied by a buffer battery which is charged using energy recuperated from regenerative braking or by a small gas engine.

This practical example allows Webasto to demonstrate its comprehensive systems expertise in electromobility. “Webasto battery systems are already fitted to vehicles of all types. The CM Fluids project is a successful example of how converting vehicles to use battery systems can combine the benefits of internal combustion engines with the advantages of electric drives,” comments Heike Niehues, who is responsible for Webasto’s global aftermarket business.

From idea to market maturity in two years: The modular Standard Battery System
Webasto already entered the battery production business in 2017 and serves its customers as a systems and development partner in the field of battery technology. Vehicle manufacturers thereby benefit from a significant reduction in development costs in comparison with a specifically tailored battery. In this way, every customer receives a battery system on attractive terms – even for smaller build volumes. “This is a decisive competitive benefit for many companies. Because this is not only an environmentally friendly solution, but a cost-effective one too,” continues Niehues. By retrofitting buses with battery systems from Webasto it is not necessary to purchase new buses in order to meet climate targets. On the basis of the Standard Battery System the customer receives a tailored solution for commercial vehicles – perfect for the electric public transportation market – on attractive terms and with proven Webasto quality.

The bus was converted at Munich Airport by start-up company CM Fluids from Rohrbach. The shuttle bus is used for regular passenger transportation on the airport apron. It is refueled at the airport with liquid methane, which powers the engine. The energy this generates is stored in a buffer battery which supplies the bus’s electric drive axle with electricity. Especially in buses that operate for long periods or that make frequent starts and stops, as at the airport, the benefits of the system pay off, according to CMF Drive, because the braking energy can be recuperated and stored in the buffer battery from Webasto. One tank of fuel is sufficient for up to 800 kilometers and the refueling process is also rapidly performed. Over 500 liters of the fuel can be filled in five minutes. Emitting 90% less fine dust particles in comparison with EURO VI diesel engines, and over 60% less nitrogen oxides, the concept ensures significantly improved air quality at the airport.

Further information can be found at www.webasto-electrified.com.

About Webasto

The Webasto Group is a global innovative systems partner to almost all automobile manufacturers and among the top 100 suppliers in this industry sector. The company’s product portfolio comprises a broad range of roof and heating systems for every type of vehicle and all drive types as well as battery systems and charging solutions. Moreover, Webasto has a strong position in the aftermarket providing dealers and end customers with customized solutions and services relating to thermo management and electromobility. In 2019 the company generated sales of around 3.7 billion euros and had almost 14,000 employees at more than 50 locations (with over 30 of these being manufacturing plants). The headquarters of the company, founded in 1901, is located in Stockdorf near Munich (Germany).