VII Hybrid Bus
Orion VII Hybrid Buses are rolling out across the U. S and
Canada. Orion, a subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler has rolled out
its diesel-electric hybrid buses New York, and further roll
outs to cities like St. Louis, San Francisco and Toronto are
in the works.
By the end of 2005, New York will have the largest hybrid
bus fleet anywhere in the world, numbering 325 units. San
Francisco Municipal Railway has just ordered
56 Orion VII hybrids with an option for 56 more. In St.
Louis, the Missouri Metro is putting an Orion hybrid bus
through its paces with a fleet expected to hit the Show
Me state in 2009.
The 40-foot low-floor, Orion VII hybrid buses offer a HybriDrive
diesel-electric propulsion system by BAE Systems propelling
the bus with a single electric motor that is powered by
a diesel-driven generator and an energy storage unit. The
Orion hybrid is equipped with a smaller, cleaner burning
diesel engine that with quicker acceleration than other
conventional diesel-only buses using a 5.9-liter, 260 hp
(194 kW) Cummins ULSD (Ultra Low-Sulfur Diesel) engine with
a 120 kW traction generator. The high-torque traction motor
delivers 250 hp (186 kW) and 2,700 lb-ft (3,657 Nm) of low-end
torque yielding more than enough power for typical usage.
Because the Orion hybrid bus has no transmission and uses
regenerative braking to charge the batteries, this means
lower maintenance costs on a whole (and quieter ride) including
reducing brake wear by approximately one-third.
According to Hank McGlynn, vice president of Power Systems
for BAE Systems , "Our hybrid propulsion technology
leads the transit industry in combining cleaner emissions
and reduced fuel consumption. This is a powerful combination
for transit agencies seeking to both reduce fleet emissions
and combat the escalating cost of diesel fuel." In
fact, the Orion VII hybrid buses have improved fuel economy
of more than 30% compared to conventionally powered buses.
In addition, the Orion hybrids significantly reduce emissions
with 90% less particulate matter, 40% fewer oxides of nitrogen,
and 30% fewer greenhouse gases.
With many municipalities concerned about hitting their
emissions targets, hybrid buses such as those offered Orion
Allison will help assure both cost savings and
compliance with emissions standards. In years to come, people
will look nostalgically towards the black soot-belching
buses of old and know we are in a new, more breathable era
for years to come.