The Elroy Townobile T120 Electric Bus was designed by Roy Leembruggen and manufactured by Elroy Engineering in Hornsby, Sydney.
The bus was placed on static display in Hyde Park, Sydney during August 1976 before making the journey to Canberra for demonstration in November 1977. It also visited Brisbane in January 1978. It is believed to have run a free service in Central Sydney during the 1970s.
The origin of the vehicle was due to a request from QANTAS for an electric-powered airport transit vehicle.
With a low top speed of 60 km/h and requiring a fresh battery every three to four hours, the vehicle was unsuitable for mass public transport but a feasible option for the confines of an airport.
Notes on the bus following its demonstration stated “It is difficult to see a role for the battery powered vehicle in Canberra, given the limited range and speed of the current electric vehicles and the fact that Canberra has extremely low population densities and decentralised shopping and business districts.”
The bus carried NSW Trade Plates, registered A2415
- Dual entry front doors
- Dual exit rear doors
- Low floor
- No fumes or vibrations
- Battery packs located under seats
- 30 year life
The motor-in-wheel unit was exclusive to this bus, two of which replaced the conventional drive axle, differential and wheel assembly. Motor-in-wheel incorporates traction motor, reduction gearing, suspension and braking elements and occupied no more space than the dual wheels it rotates and within which they were mounted.
The controls included steering wheel, accelerator, brake, forward-off-reverse switch and parking break. All other accessories were grouped on a single panel in front of the driver.
- Seats 48 and stands 68
- Total capacity 116
- Length: 12.20m
- Wheelbase: 7m
- Passenger and driver mass: 7.45 tonne
- Equipped tare mass: 6.56 tonne
- Gross vehicle mass: 14 tonne
- Monocoque body and frame construction
- Motors: 2 x 22.5/45 KW 9:1 Ratio
- Braking: Regenerative and hydraulic
- Maximum speed: 60km/h
- Acceleration: 1m/s
- Gradeability: 10%
- Turning circle: 22m
- Ground clearance: 210mm
- Departure angle, front and rear: 8/12
- Step Height: 250mm
- Floor Height: 500mm
- Tyres: 11/70 R 22.5 Radial low profile
- Traction controller: Thynstor Regenerative
- Auxillieries: 24V DC Invertor supply
- Batteries: Lead-acid traction 1600 cycle
- Charger: 3-phase solid state sensor control
- Tare: 6.55
- Gross 14.00
Townobile T120 at ACT Bus Gallery