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More diesel hybrid buses in California

9 May 2001

Johnson City, NY-based BAE Systems Controls (former Lockheed Martin Control Systems) said hybrid electric buses equipped with its HybriDrive™ propulsion system will debut in two California transit systems this spring and are slated to enter service in San Francisco later this year.

During May, Fresno Area Express and the city of Torrance each will place two hybrids in revenue service. Later this month, the San Francisco Municipal Railway will take delivery of two hybrid units. These agencies will evaluate the buses, all based on the low-floor platform built by Orion Bus Industries, as part of their efforts to cut fleet emissions.

“The growing popularity of hybrid buses is evidence that transit authorities from coast to coast recognize the benefits of this technology,” said James Scanlon, president of BAE Systems Controls. “Hybrid buses dramatically cut emissions, improve fuel economy, and have the potential to reduce vehicle maintenance needs. We are proud to play a significant part in expanding the use of this technology for transit applications.”

Diesel hybrids were first deployed in New York City, where the MTA Transit plans to add 325 more buses equipped with the BAE Systems drivetrain to its fleet between 2001 and 2004. MTA New York City Transit began deploying a 10-unit evaluation fleet using the HybriDrive system in the fall of 1998. To date, those buses have accumulated more than 300,000 miles in revenue service, mostly on congested routes in Manhattan.

New York’s experience has been so positive that NYCT has placed two large production orders with Orion Bus Industries—one for 125 units and the other for 200—deliveries on which will begin in late 2001.

Hybrids have also been tested in Boston, where the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has logged about 35,000 miles on a pair of Orion VI buses powered by the HybriDrive system.

The HybriDrive propulsion system uses an AC induction motor to turn the vehicle’s drive wheels. A diesel-powered generator supplies propulsion power to the electric motor and to a battery pack. The engine is fitted with a particulate filter. This configuration dramatically reduces emissions while improving fuel economy by 25% to 50% and improving performance.

Source: BAE Systems