WEG motors and inverters drive the first fleet of buses powered by hydrogen for urban public transportation in Brazil. Metra, urban transport company, received three buses from the governor of the State of São Paulo, Geraldo Alckmin, in an event on June 15th. The buses will be used to make the route between Diadema and Morumbi - SP from July 2015 on.

WEG supplied the traction system for the Metra busses, which operates the ABD Metropolitan Bus Corridor, linking the ABC Region to the eastern-south suburbs of the state capital.

Each vehicle is fitted with a WEG Powertrain comprising an AC 330 kWp Electric Traction motor, which is water-cooled with aluminum frame and a CFW11 T Traction Frequency Inverter, 600 A, 600 VDC and a DC/DC Converter. In addition, WEG also supplied motors, inverters, circuit breakers, fuses and other electrical components for the auxiliary systems of the buses.

This new propulsion technology is completely free of pollutant emissions, since the hydrogen fuel is produced from ordinary water. The hydrogen is obtained by a process called electrolysis, which is the decomposition of water (H20) into oxygen (02) and hydrogen (H2). Instead of an exhaust of smoke and toxic pollutant, the bus emits only water vapor through its exhaust. The WEG Traction System is the state-of-the art technology for large electric vehicles drive systems. In addition to quiet pollution free operation the weight of the supplied equipment is 45% lower, which reduces power consumption and makes installation easier during the vehicle manufacturing process.

“The bus runs quiet and smooth without noise and zero emissions. This reduces the air pollution problems and the impacts on people's health”, said the governor Geraldo Alckmin during the opening event. São Paulo has a total of four buses in the fleet powered by hydrogen. The first bus was delivered in 2012”.

The project has been developed under a research contract funded by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) with resources from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Brazilian Innovation Agency (FINEP) through the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME). The equipment supplied by WEG is totally manufactured in Brazil using local material, allowing the financing by the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) / Funding for Machines and Equipment (FINAME).

This unique project further extends the partnership between the two companies. Metra is already a traditional customer of WEG motors and inverters for trolleybuses, hybrid buses and battery-powered busses. For this project, Metra received total support from WEG’s engineering staff, whose proximity allowed for easy customization and a complete custom-tailored solution.

About Metra

Metra uses the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, high-capacity transport that travels on exclusive lanes and has nine bus terminals. For two consecutive years, the company has been recognized as the first in the Transport Quality Index (IQT), measured annually by the State Secretariat for Metropolitan Transports (EMTU) (IQT / EMTU) and by the "Transport Image Search in the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo 2011”, realized by the ANTP (National Association for Public Transportation) with 79% user approval.