Devised as a design project at Coventry University, the Setra Coach by British designer Peter Spriggs, together with Adrian Barron and Adam Cunningham, is a public transport vehicle that greets both the physically able as well as the disabled with ease for an eco-friendly drive. Measuring 13.5 x 2.6, 3.8 meters (LWH), the Setra 700 Series vehicle is powered by a 225kw electric motor producing 400bhp and 600ft/lb (800nm) of torque placed between rear axles in its tri-axle setup.
Due to the modular design, the chassis, using lightweight extruded aluminum where possible, is different than the current Setra ones. The chassis is mainly down low in the coach, due to having a panoramic glass and cabin area. There are small structural hard points that run up inside the coach, which offer mounting points for the windows to ensure a strong and stable superstructure.
Wheels & Brakes
The wheels are exactly the same size as current coach wheels. Very similar to current coach brakes and setup, the new vehicle uses disc and calipers all round, together with a hydraulic hand brake.
The suspension is a mixture of current Setra with a mix of city bus, for the current Setra air suspension is very good and allows the bus to kneel and move a lot. Each wheel has its own set of airbags that can be used to raise or lower the coach depending on the situation, and the compressor and air tanks are mounted right at the back of the coach.
Batteries & Motor
The coach is powered by Lithium-Ion batteries, but 2.5 times the amount of Lithium-Ion batteries that are used by the Tesla, giving the coach a range of over 600 miles. The batteries are mounted low down under the luggage compartment, which helps in constant weight distribution. While the electric motor is a larger version of the one currently being used in the Honda Clarity, this motor had a gearbox mounted to the back of it, and with some changes it could be altered so that the ratios suit coaches. This motor generates 130HP, which could increase to 400hp by increasing the size, coils and magnetic strength.
The 700 series features a unique ability to interchange the modules that sit at the rear of the coach, enabling the coach to be fitted for several different tour packages before it leaves to pick up passengers. A male/female jack point system is used to attach the module area. The main chassis will have the male aligning parts; these will simply be high strength steel guards. These will slot inside the female part on the module, allowing both to line up securely once in position, and a large securing pin or bolt will be used to keep them secure on the road. A system like this allows for a secure hold while also allowing for easy changing of modules.
With the air suspension lowering the bus to the floor, a small external ramp will simply fold out from below the door. To get a disabled user up to the seating level, the vehicle incorporates a lift as a part of the entrance floor. The motors for the lift are positioned above the front steering racks. These electric motors run off the coach’s Lithium-Ion store. The ramp and its guards rise out of the flat floor and lift the user up to the proper seating height.