First of the All-Electric Artics Are for LA Metro & AC Transit
New Flyer’s fully battery-powered, 60-foot articulated transit bus is to undergo U.S. Federal Transit Administration Altoona testing, the company said today. New Flyer describes the vehicle as “the industry’s first 60-foot electric heavy-duty transit bus.”
Lithium ion battery-powered XE60 and sister XHE60 hydrogen fuel cell buses are to see first deployment at California’s LA Metro and the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit (AC Transit), the manufacturer said.
Both versions are powered by Siemens electric motors. They feature “a unique two-axle drive system for added traction and enhanced safety.” Both produce zero tail pipe pollution and zero greenhouse gas emissions.
Based on the Popular Xcelsior
The XE60 is being made available with extended-range batteries or with en-route fast charging capability, requiring fewer on-board batteries for continuous service operations. New Flyer’s XHE60 is described as a battery-electric bus with a small hydrogen fuel cell operating as an on-board battery charger. Both are built on the Xcelsior platform, “with over 8,000 buses in-service daily throughout North America.”
The Altoona trials “will validate our integration of advanced two-axle drive technology for adverse weather and road conditions,” New Flyer engineering VP Chris Stoddart said in today’s release.
Fuel Cell Technology Is Getting Cheaper
“The testing also allows New Flyer to contribute in a significant role to the FTA’s National Fuel Cell bus program by demonstrating how advanced hydrogen fuel cells can be utilized to charge batteries on-board without using plug-in power from the utility grid, which typically requires several hours per day for complete re-charging and off-peak hours to avoid excessive power rates,” he said.
“The progress we’ve achieved in hydrogen fuel cell commercialization has been impressive over the past five years. We’re continuing to observe automotive companies investing heavily in this technology, which is expected to directly drive down costs, similar to what the transportation industry has experienced with batteries,” Stoddart said.
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Source: New Flyer with Fleets & Fuels follow-up