The preparations for hosting of the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016 are resulting in major changes to the infrastructure of Brazilian cities. The country is seeking alternatives to improve urban mobility, reduce gas emissions, improve the quality of life for residents and also the comfort of visitors to the two events. One of the initiatives undertaken by the host cities of the World Cup is the implementation of exclusive bus lanes BRT (Bus Rapid Transit). The costs for this initiative are moderate and the deployment fast - up to 2 years. Moreover, the use of electric buses (trolleybuses) and hybrids on the bus lanes offers the advantages of quieter operation and less pollution.
Since 2010, Metra, a producer of hybrid buses and trolleybuses, has been using WEG microprocessor controlled traction systems – an AC motor driven by a frequency inverter model CFW-09 – in its products. These systems are used especially for providing electric traction in heavy vehicles.
According to Fabrizio Braga, director at Metra, CC trolleybuses have been running for years with great reliability. However, the AC motors manufactured by WEG, due to technological innovation and robustness, have shown excellent performance in applications on vehicles. "The high-tech WEG traction inverter allows fast diagnosis and maintenance. The results are quite satisfactory, and after-sales service is adapting quickly to the needs of the operation of urban transport, which requires speed and readiness from the fleet. The partnership established with WEG is very positive," said Braga.
Currently, there are three 12m trolleybuses and two 18m articulated trolleybuses with WEG motors and inverters in operation. Another four articulated trolleybuses (Low Entry), a 15m trolleybus, and an articulated trolleybus are also being manufactured. The last two, (Low floor), will be launched in the market as top-of- the- line in terms of embedded technology. "Our expectation is that we shall acquire over 50 trolleybuses with WEG motors and inverters in the first half of 2012," said Fabrizio Braga.
Another WEG system for a 15m trolleybus is currently being installed at Eletra (a company in the Metra Group). Eletra was also a partner in the integration of the WEG traction system for ethanol driven hybrid buses purchased by the Itaipu hydroelectric power plant, and has been responsible for the integration of WEG traction systems on trolleybuses for Himalaia, a bus transport company in the city of São Paulo.
Range - 33 km
Bus Stops - 110
Coverage/ month - 1.3 million km
Passengers / month - 7.5 million
Fleet - 260 vehicles