An All-Battery 40-Footer and a Hydrogen Fuel Cell 60-Footer
As Electric Transit Buses Said to Be a Matter of ‘When,’ Not “If’
New Flyer Industries is flexing its electric muscle at APTA Expo 2014 in Houston this week. The Winnipeg-headquartered company is showing its first all-battery electric bus, the 40-foot Xcelsior XE40, and has announced the hydrogen fuel cell-powered, 60-foot articulated Xcelsior X60. Both have Siemens electric drives.
“Our customers now have a commercially available and cost effective all-electric propulsion option that can integrate seamlessly with their existing transit fleet,” New Flyer president and CEO Paul Soubry said in a release. “We believe electrification of transit buses was not a matter of ‘if,’ but rather ‘when,’” he said.
The XE40 features an integrated energy storage system by New Flyer with lithium ion batteries sized from 100 to 300 kilowatts depending on customer range requirements, and depot charging capability with Eaton en-route conductive charging capability.
20 Years of Electric Bus Experience
“New Flyer has been the innovation leader for the North American heavy-duty transit industry for decades,” said New Flyer engineering and service VP Chris Stoddart.
“We have more than 20 years of extensive experience with electric vehicle technology including hybrid buses, trolley buses, and fuel-cell hybrid buses.”
“We have designed the XE40 with public transit agencies in mind using components and systems that are Buy America compliant and are manufactured and supported by long time supply chain partners,” Stoddart said. “The bus can be charged at a depot or utilize a single pantograph interface providing rapid en-route conductive charging that can be integrated into normal transit dwell times.
Ballard for the X60
“This allows the bus to be operated with the same duty cycle as a conventional transit bus.”
New Flyer said in Houston that its commitment to zero-emission fuel cell technology began in 1995 with the delivery of the first 40-foot hydrogen fuel cell bus in North America. The firm’s zero- emission transit bus product line also includes electric trolley and battery-electric propulsion variants, “a total of 362 which are in service today.”
New Flyer’s hydrogen-fueled X60 has a Ballard Power Systems fuel cell powering its Siemens drive. The fuel cell “is smaller, lighter and lower in cost than existing models,” New Flyer says. It will operate at a relative steady state, while the batteries will be able to both capture breaking energy and provide power for acceleration.
Trials in Connecticut, and Altoona Testing Too
The 60-foot articulated vehicle is to be tested in revenue service for 22 months by Connecticut Transit in league with Calstart and FTA, the Federal Transit Administration. “A key step in the commercialization will be to complete a full Altoona durability and performance test,” New Flyer says.
“Upon the success of this program, New Flyer will offer this vehicle to customers throughout the United States and Canada.”
“Over the next decade, we expect to see a continued transition from conventional propulsion towards zero-emission technologies in the heavy-duty transit market,” said CEO Soubry. “This builds on our natural evolution from: diesel, to hybrid, to natural gas, to electric – all based on the same proven Xcelsior bus platform.”
Calstart, a member-supported organization of more than 140 firms, fleets and agencies worldwide dedicated to supporting a growing high-tech clean transportation industry, is administering the project for the FTA.
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Source: New Flyer with Fleets & Fuels follow-up