Hybrid buses hit the road in Hungary’s South Great Plain region

An EU-funded project set out to identify solutions to the increasing demand for buses on the streets of Budapest while keeping costs down and production local to Hungary. In response, the Modulo was conceived — a bus made of modular parts which is lighter, uses less fuel and is cheaper to produce than conventional buses.

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Modulo – an environmentally-friendly bus made of composite parts in Budapest © Farkas Vera Modulo – an environmentally-friendly bus made of composite parts in Budapest © Farkas Vera

" Thanks to the innovation content, the project established mass means of transportation with minimal harmful effects on the environment and a longer lifespan than its predecessors. This brings us closer to a more sustainable life and a cleaner planet. "

Zsuzsanna Floruta, Coordination Referent, Managing Authority

In Hungary, there is demand for up to 10 000 new buses. The development of the Modulo revived Hungarian bus production, offering three different types of environmentally-friendly urban buses: a gas-fuelled bus, a trolley, and an electric bus plus charger station.

Modulo buses weigh considerably less than traditional steel-made buses, and their environmentally-friendly energy solutions make these significantly more sustainable than their competitors. Hungarian SMEs represent over half of the suppliers for the buses’ parts, contributing to job creation, economic growth and competitiveness both in the production process of the Modulo and its roll-out onto the streets of Budapest.

Light and airy solutions

Modulo is so light — 20% lower in weight and with the ability to transport up to 50 % more passengers than a conventional bus of the same size – thanks to its glass fibre composite technology. This also leads to lower operation costs as well as less impact on the roads. The bus can transport more passengers than a traditional bus because of the layout of the axes and doors. The low floor provides increased comfort while travelling. 

The modular construction of the new buses also allow for the powertrain to be changed while keeping the same body, therefore increasing the lifespan of both the composite body of the bus and the road network. The fully electric powertrain ecobus produces zero emissions, while the hybrid electric-fuel buses will lead to a 40 % reduction in the use of fuel. These innovations aim to reduce air and noise pollution in Budapest, as well as contributing to global environmental protection and climate change mitigation.

Hungary for more

The benefits of the Modulo do not end there however, and in fact go beyond environmental and energy sustainability solutions. The project itself has already created jobs for 12 people. As over half of suppliers of the Modulo’s parts are Hungarian SMEs, this should lead to growth in the bus production industry. 

The comfortable, clean and cost-effective Modulo bus represents a breakthrough not only in terms of fewer polluting emissions and a more sustainable and cost-effective transport system in Budapest, but also in kick-starting clean vehicle production across the country. This, in turn, should lead to higher demand and a wider take-up of electric and hybrid vehicles in Hungary.

Total investment and EU funding 

Total investment for the project “Development of electric, composite buses – Evopro Kft” is         EUR 2 619 767, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 1 307 449 through the “South Great Plain” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period.

 

Draft date

26/09/2017