Meritor announces its first European electrification supply project

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineAugust 1, 2019

Meritor, Inc. has announced it will supply key drivetrain components from its Blue Horizon advanced technologies brand for an electric urban bus developed by Alstom. Production for the manufacturer‘s first orders of the all-electric Aptis buses for cities such as Paris and Strasbourg in France are scheduled to begin this summer.

Meritor front- and rear-drive steer axles, air disc brakes and an innovative right angle gearbox will integrate directly into the differential to deliver power to wheel-ends from Alstom‘s electric motor. These key drivetrain components are supplied by Meritor‘s Blue Horizon advanced technology brand.

“We developed a product solution in less than a year to support Alstom‘s continued drive to make European cities cleaner with cutting-edge electrification systems for a rapidly expanding market,” said T.J. Reed, vice president Front Drivetrain and Electrification for Meritor. “It also positions Meritor‘s Blue Horizon products for further growth in a segment that will transform the industry.”

The front and rear Meritor axles are steerable to offer a narrow turning radius to increase the vehicle‘s manoeuvrability and, according to Alstrom, create a smaller footprint on the road by 25 percent compared with conventional buses. With the axles placed at the outer ends of the vehicle, the Aptis bus enhances passenger comfort due to low floors and double doors, permitting smooth passenger flows and accessibility for wheelchairs and strollers.

The axles, using casted housings from Meritor‘s joint venture foundry in Vénissieux, France, brakes from its Cwmbran, United Kingdom plant, and gearboxes from its Steyr, Austria plant, will be assembled in Cameri, Italy. Final assembly of these electric buses will be done at Alstom‘s production site in Hangenbieten, France, and deliveries are expected at the end of 2019.