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12.5.15

BUSMAKER NEWS * Israel: Defence firm Elbit shifts gears with electric buses

* Israel - Elbit see strong competition in developing battery-powered vehicles

-- For two decades, Israeli defence contractor Elbit Systems has its sights set on market - electric buses. The electronics company has landed on high-performance batteries suitable for electric buses... Elbit  plans to have a commercially viable version ready by the end of 2016... It is also working on a similar-style battery for a car starter motor, for which a pilot production line will be finished by the end of the year... Since buses run along fixed routes for fixed amounts of time, the key is to be able to charge their batteries rapidly in the down-time, even in the pauses along a route... The problem with supercapacitors, however, is their cost and their weight, which can be prohibitive... Yet for those that manage to crack the problem, there is money to be made: the hybrid and electric bus market is still in its early stages, but it is expected to boom over the next decade to over $100 billion a year in terms of revenue, according to IDTechEx, a group that reasearches emerging technologies... Around half of that revenue will come from batteries sales...  Elbit's solution to the battery weight problem is a hybrid supercapacitor - combined with a lithium ion battery - giving it both the high energy density of a conventional battery and power of a supercapacitor. The battery will weigh just one tonne, making it less expensive and freeing up room for more passengers... 
Netanya, Israel - Reuters, by Ari Rabinovitch / Pravin Char - May 7, 2015

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