13 October 2005

The New York City has ordered 500 Orion VII hybrid diesel-electric buses. New York City Transit ordered 216 of the buses, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) 284. According to the New York Sun, the value of the order is $249 million.

The buses will be manufactured by Orion Bus Industries, a subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler. Deliveries will start in mid-2006.

The Orion VII buses utilize the BAE HybriDrive serial hybrid powertrain, with a 5.9-liter, 260 hp (194 kW) Cummins engine and a 120 kW generator. The buses are propelled by a single traction motor of 250 hp (186 kW) and 2,700 lb-ft (3,657 Nm) torque. The engine is fitted with a catalyzed particulate filter, and is operated using ultra low sulfur fuel.

A fleet of more than 300 Orion hybrids has been already in operation in New York City. With the new order, as well as orders placed by transit authorities in Toronto and San Francisco, the Orion/HybriDrive becomes the leading brand of hybrid buses, over the GM Allison parallel hybrids.