The German FlixMobility start-up behind the green-liveried FlixBus brand has begun testing copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) solar panels on the buses operated by its partners in an effort to reduce diesel consumption and CO2 emissions.
The panels will provide energy for vehicle electricity needs and the first modules are being tested on the Dortmund to London route.
FlixMobility said the ultra-thin, lightweight panels used – provided by U.K. specialist Trailar – do not create air resistance.
Using a smart charge controller, the panels are connected to the bus alternator, which can recharge a vehicle battery with limited fuel requirements. “During the trial period, an average of 1.7 litres of diesel was saved per 100km [travelled],” the bus route planning company stated.
Munich-based FlixMobility said the CIGS panels will entirely power the pilot vehicle’s passenger USB ports and sockets, air conditioning, wi-fi and media entertainment system. “Based on the initial results, we will evaluate the extent to which we extend this pilot to more buses, or even all buses in the network,” said the company.