Successful conclusion to Ngen- Bus project led by bus manufacturer Castrosúa with the participation of Untha Ibérica

The Ngen-Bus project concluded in June of this year. The project was carried out by a consortium of companies led by Galician bus manufacturer Castrosúa. The aim of the project was to develop a new concept of lighter, more eco-friendly urban bus featuring an energy storage system and eco-driving systems.  

The new model of vehicle features an eco-design and was developed bearing in mind a life cycle analysis of the materials and energy consumption. The weight of the vehicle was reduced through the development of a platform with a recyclable and lighter self-supporting bodywork. The weight reduction was achieved using materials of lower density than conventional steel, such as aluminium. The increased recyclability rate was achieved by applying eco-design principles and replacing thermosetting plastic components and fibre glass with other lighter and directly recyclable thermoplastic materials.

The work package developed by Untha Ibérica in collaboration with the AIMEN Technology Centre enabled compliance with the recyclability conditions for saloon type vehicles set out in European Directive 200/53/EC. The Directive sets recycling and recovery targets of 85% and 95% respectively. The Ngen-Bus model has achieved recycling rates of 91.5% and recovery rates of 97% with energy recovery, subsequent to following the protocols for dismantling, shredding and materials separation established for the vehicle in the design stage.  

UNTHA shredding technology was used for the shredding tests carried out on elements made of light metals and innovative polymers. The resulting particles were characterised by their suitability for separation using the main sorting technology available on the market and then assigning them routes for reuse, recycling, energy recovery or final disposal in landfills.

Reducing vehicle weight by 10%, the Ecodriving package specifically developed for Ngen-Bus, and the mains connectable electric battery module enabled the achieving of additional targets, including energy consumption savings of 5% compared to the previous Castrosúa model, and an overall improvement of 50% in the carbon footprint over the life of the vehicle, as calculated using Life Cycle Analysis (LCA).

The Ngen-Bus project was carried out between February 2013 and June 2015 and was funded by EU ERDF funds under the 2013 call for projects of the Interconnecta programme. The members of the consortium were the private enterprises Castrosúa, Extrugasa, Errecé, Polirrós, Plexus, and Untha Iberica, as well as the AIMEN Technology Center and the Centro de Automoción de Galicia (CTAG).