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Electric Vehicles Research
Posted on June 5, 2012 by  & 

New Flyer unveils first all-electric transit bus prototype

New Flyer Industries Inc, a manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses in Canada and the United States, unveiled its prototype all-electric 40-foot Xcelsior heavy-duty transit bus.
The prototype is based on New Flyer's successful 40-foot Xcelsior heavy-duty transit bus, North America's most advanced bus platform available today. The bus is equipped with an electric drive and is modified to carry advanced lithium ion batteries from MHI that are charged from the city's electrical grid instead.
New Flyer's President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Soubry explained, "We have chosen to launch the electric bus prototype on the same bus platform into which New Flyer's diesel, diesel-electric hybrid, compressed natural gas and electric trolley can be incorporated to give customers a variety of propulsion options for their fleet, while still providing them with standardization for operating cost optimization."
Further demonstration and testing of the electric bus will occur during the next two years starting with dry-run operational testing by project personnel and then moving to operation under select route conditions.
The electric bus project is the first major activity undertaken under the Memorandum of Understanding on Renewable Energy Development between Manitoba and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, signed in 2010. The agreement created the structure for a series of potential collaborative projects between Manitoba and MHI in eight areas: electrification of transportation and recharging infrastructure projects; battery-storage technologies; heat-pump technologies; advanced biofuels technologies; wind-energy technologies; energy-efficiency technologies and systems; solar technologies and silicon processing; and integrated energy production, storage and utilization demonstrations.
Comment by IDTechEx. The global demand for pure electric buses is several thousands yearly excluding open golf car adaptations for a few people. However, demand for medium to large enclosed pure electric buses is only about 1000 yearly for the same reasons that restrict demand for pure electric cars - up front cost, limited range and fear about the huge cost of battery replacement if they do not last the life of the vehicle (many in China last only three years). However, in many ways, bus operators are better able to deal with the problems than private car owners. For example, it is easier to have plenty of very fast chargers in place for buses, non-standard if necessary. Governments owning bus operators and backing bus manufacturers often have a green agenda regardless of payback and the money to pursue it. The above story is therefore a part of the rapid move into pure electric buses, particularly for the frequent stop-start of city operation. Nevertheless, hybrid buses will prevail for the next decade.
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