Eletra: reference in sustainable transport
Innovate is in Eletra’s DNA since its very foundation in 1988. The search for solutions in public transportation made the company a reference in electric bus production in the trolleybus (aerial network), hybrid (motor-generator + battery) and electric (battery) versions. Today, the brand is present in 400 buses with electric traction operating in Greater São Paulo, in addition to cities such as Rosario, in Argentina, and Wellington, in New Zealand.
The search for sustainable solutions in public transportation was promoted by siblings Maria Beatriz and José Antônio Setti Braga. The family has been in the transport market for more than 100 years by offering carriage services in the past. Today, they control a group with different activities in the sector.
In face of the challenge to seek new and more economic and sustainable transport vehicles, the duo travel to Florence to acquire knowledge and experience. The Italian city has a well-established fleet of trolleybus and other electric-powered options. They were astonished with the technology, but ultimately concluded that the vehicles were far from meeting the needs of the company. They decided to call the aid of the electrical engineer Antonio Vicente Souza e Silva, considered one of the “fathers” of Brazilian trolleybus, who also advised them to allocate manufacturing and production in Brazil. The Braga siblings launched themselves in a new quest, which counted with a system created by Silva and his own team.
In 1999, the first hybrid is born, with local technology and WEG electric motor in charge of the traction, as well as an explosion-based propulsion system provided by Mercedes-Benz, which works as an energy generator always in the same rotation. Moura was in charge of providing lead-acid batteries. The result was a diesel engine smaller than conventional versions, ensuring a reduction of 95% in the emission of particulate material. The new product was recognized soon after in 2003. The vehicle managed to be one of the Top 5 finalists at the World Technology Award, held in the USA.