Under the project title "FlexSBus-LR" (Flexible Rail Bus for Rural Areas), the Institute of Rail Vehicles and Transport Systems in a consortium of RWTH institutes - in addition to us, the Institute for Electrical Drives and Controls ISEA is also involved - small and medium-sized enterprises - LBBZ from Geilenkirchen as consortium leader, ISATEC from Aachen and MV-Engineering from Krefeld - and two large corporations, Schäffler Technologies AG and Knorr-Bremse AG, will develop and build a rail vehicle over the next three years.
The goal of this project is the development and construction of a lightweight, flexible, energy-autonomous and emission-free rail bus as well as the production of a demonstrator, initially for passenger transport only, on which the functionality of the concept is to be tested. The chassis, which is separate from the passenger cell, contains almost the entire technical equipment of the vehicle, which means that it will also be possible to transport a goods container in the future. A highly efficient electric drive train in combination with lightweight, track-friendly single-axle running gears mounted in novel low-friction bearings represent further innovations. The energy is stored on board in high-performance batteries and can be fed back during braking. Further innovations are the space-saving energy absorption devices in the chassis and the lightweight passenger cell. For the latter, an easily separable interface to the chassis must be developed. The development of automated driving functions is not focused on in this project, but is nevertheless being prepared (e.g. installation space, driver assistance system).
We are pleased that this project has been selected for funding by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy as part of the "New Vehicle and System Technologies" funding programme. TÜV Rheinland Consulting is accompanying the project as project sponsor.