Vietnam will soon get new diesel-electric hybrid buses following the signing of an agreement in Hanoi on June 13 between Siemens Vietnam and the Vietnam Motors Industry Corporation or Vinamotor.

"Siemens's state-of-the-art and environment friendly technology will help improve the quality of our buses as well as help us manufacture buses that are safe, environmentally friendly, energy efficient and clean," Vinamotor chairman Do Nga Viet said at the signing ceremony.

A prototype of the new bus will be built this year with Siemens supplying all the necessary components and technical support and Vinamotor building the body and certain parts.

It is expected to enable city public buses to reduce fuel consumption by up to 50 percent, significantly saving costs.

It will also reduce the impact on the environment through lower exhaust emission.

The technology, called ELFA, is a diesel-electric hybrid concept that combines mobile power supply modules such as diesel generator sets and energy-storage devices. These allow the energy produced during braking to be stored.

In conventional city buses, braking energy is converted into heat and lost.

ELFA technology allows this to be converted into electrical energy and fed into energy storage devices like high-performance capacitors and batteries. The stored energy is reused during start and acceleration.

Depending on the storage capacity of the system the bus can also be driven purely electrically, meaning without emissions, especially in inner city areas.-VNA