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MACHINE BUILDING, FRAMEWORKS & SAFETY FEATURE


Reducing vehicle weight with fibreglass profiles Electric buses are now being


built using fibreglass profiles from


Exel Composites in order to reduce weight and lower fuel consumption and emissions


W


hen used on large vehicles, composites (being lighter than metal alternatives) can help to reduce fuel consumption and lifetime


maintenance costs. So, when building 33 buses for use in Helsinki, Chinese bus and coach supplier Yutong specified fibreglass profiles from Exel Composites. According to Exel Composites, it designs and manufactures some of


the largest and most complex carbon fibre and fibreglass composite profiles on the market. So, in this application, it provided Yutong with the skirt and the side panels of the electric buses, which were delivered to Finnish bus and road operator, Pohjolan Liikenne. Diesel buses, on average, produce three times as many particles per


mile as diesel cars. However, the composite material helps to decrease the weight of the buses, which increases efficiency and environmental benefits, such as reducing carbon emissions from fuel. Kathy Wang, head of sales region North Asia, at Exel Composites,


commented: “The light weight of fibreglass was important to this project as it reduces operating costs and helps to increase energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. Additionally, our composite profiles are resistant to deformation, chemicals and harsh road environments. Repairing fibreglass is straightforward and can be done


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in depot. This means that the overall operational maintenance and lifetime costs of the buses is decreased.” Wang added: “With Yutong’s aim to produce more environmentally public


transport and to reduce carbon emissions by five million kilograms a year, composite materials are one of the key materials to help accomplish this.” Finland, which is already renowned for its safety and efficiency when it


comes to public transport, aims to have 400 electric buses operating in the capital by 2025. Such buses are being used as part of the country’s goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by five million kilograms a year.


Exel Composites    www.exelcomposites.com


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DESIGN SOLUTIONS | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2020


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