• Mar 26th 2010 at 6:00PM
  • 12
Daimler Buses North America has completed the delivery of a major order for hybrid buses to the New York City Transit authority. The New York bus system bought 1,350 Orion VII buses that use a series hybrid drive system produced by BAE systems.

The Orion VII is the first production hybrid bus to use lithium ion batteries, and the 6.7-liter diesel engine is set up to run at constant speed as it powers a generator to replenish the batteries. By running the diesel at constant loads and relying on the batteries for the transient power needed for acceleration, the buses avoid the clouds of black smoke typically seen from diesel buses as they pull away from a stop.

New York now has 1,679 hybrid buses with all but four being sourced from Daimler. That makes it the largest operator of hybrid buses in the world. New York City Transit was the first company to put an Orion hybrid into service in 1998. Click past the break for the complete press release.

[Source: Daimler]

PRESS RELEASE

Daimler Buses North America Hands Over Last Hybrid Bus from Order for New York City Transit
Oriskany, U.S.,
Mar 25, 2010
  • Contract for delivery of 1,350 Orion hybrid transit buses to New York City Transit (NYCT) is signed
  • Nearly the entire NYCT vehicle fleet consists of diesel-electric hybrid buses from Daimler Buses North America (DBNA)
  • Richard Ferguson, President and CEO of DBNA: "Our Orion hybrid buses have reduced fuel consumption by 5 million gallons and CO2 emissions by about 50,000 tons."
Oriskany, U.S. – Daimler Buses North America (DBNA) has delivered the last batch of buses to New York City Transit (NYCT) from an order for a total of 1,350 Orion diesel-electric hybrid transit buses. NYCT, the largest public transport operator in the U.S., moves some seven million passengers each day.

The company currently operates a fleet of 1,679 hybrid buses, of which 1,675 are Orion VII diesel-electric hybrids from DBNA. This gives NYCT the world's largest fleet of hybrid vehicles for local public transportation.

"This order represents the largest hybrid bus order in the history of our company," says Richard Ferguson, President and CEO of DBNA. "Together with New York City Transit, we pioneered the hybrid bus and have proven it to be a viable option for city transit. We hope to continue this partnership with New York City Transit long into the future."

Orion began developing and producing hybrid buses in the mid-1990s and formed a partnership with NYCT to help test the buses during their development phase. DBNA then delivered its first Orion diesel-electric hybrid bus to New York City in 1998. Although the Orion hybrid bus is used all across North America, New York City has the most units in operation.

Daimler Buses is the world's largest manufacturer of diesel-electric hybrid buses, with over 3,000 units either in service or on order. In addition to New York, Orion hybrid buses have proven themselves in cities such as San Francisco, Houston, Toronto, and Ottawa.

"These buses have together logged nearly 100 million miles of passenger service while transporting half a billion passengers," says Ferguson. "Their operation has reduced fuel consumption by 5 million gallons and CO2 emissions by about 50,000 tons."

DBNA began series production of the Orion VII hybrid bus in early 2000, and Daimler Buses has since grown to become the global market leader for hybrid buses. Orion's history of innovation continued with the introduction of lithium-ion energy storage technology for series-production buses in 2008. The new development reduced the weight of the brand's buses, thereby further improving fuel economy. DBNA is currently further enhancing the Orion hybrid bus, and refinements are to be introduced this year.

At the heart of Orion's diesel-electric hybrid buses is the brand's HybriDrive system, which is manufactured by BAE Systems of Johnson City, NY. The system powers the bus with a 6.7-liter diesel engine, a generator, an electric motor, and a lithium-ion energy storage unit. The components are arranged in series and were configured especially for the Orion VII hybrid bus. The diesel engine is optimized to run at relatively constant speeds. Acceleration and deceleration are accomplished by varying the speed of the electric motor rather than the diesel engine. This results in maximum efficiency, fuel savings, and clean operation.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great news!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I just hope the buses are not part of the Daimler bribery scandal... otherwise, good to see the on the streets...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yawn, who cares. Hybrids are still petroleum only. They just stretch out the petroleum fuel a little bit further. You think OPEC will notice? Even if consumption drops, they can cut production and raise the price and make just as much money. You think the environment will benefit? Fuel demand rises too fast for efficiency improvements to catch up.

      We need to switch fuel, to clean burning, non crazy funding alternatives. For diesel class vehicles, the best alternative is DME (di methyl ether). DME emits no smog-causing particulates at all (biodiesel can't say that), and at 60 has a higher cetane rating (the diesel equivalent of octane) that petroleum diesel's 48.

      DME is made by reacting methanol to itself, and methanol can be made either from natural gas, coal, or renewable biomass such as crop residues, weeds, trash, and even sewage.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Liquefying NG is energy-intensive and expensive, so much so that it's uneconomical to transport it in many cases. That's why so much NG is wasted by being flared off from oil wells in isolated areas or infrastructure-poor countries instead of being captured, transported, and put to use. That's CO2 being added to the atmosphere anyway with no benefit to mankind.

        Making methanol from NG is much cheaper than making LNG, but there's only so much demand for methanol. If methanol were in higher demand by being in widespread use as a fuel for light-duty vehicles and as the source material for DME for heavy-duty diesel-class vehicles, it would be worthwhile to make NG from every oil well into methanol and put it to use rather than waste it.

        Making NG into LNG omits the step of methanol, which then eliminates the cheapest and easiest possibility of getting us off petroleum for light duty vehicles.

        LNG is also extremely hazardous and has been responsible for numerous catastrophic explosions.
        • 5 Years Ago
        how much CO2 is generated when natural gas is converted to a fuel suitable for the hybrid diesels? Why not run the buses off LNG?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow, I had no idea there are already series hybrids out there working in numbers. Any specs on the batteries and motor? What's it like to drive these compared to a regular bus? That must be a seriously powerful motor to move that kind of mass.

      I'm assuming these don't plug-in at night, so they're always running on charge sustaining mode. Does that mean the batteries operate pretty much near 100% charge all the time?

      Level4
      • 5 Years Ago
      I got nothing against the bus but the MTA manages to spend on 1,350 buses while pretty much operating at a loss and having to be "forced" to raise fare because they say they have no money....
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Level4
        According to the press release, they took delivery of the first bus in 1998. If this type of bus has the best total cost of ownership (TCO), then it makes sense that every new bus would be of this type. Now, 12 years later, they are nearly all of this type. I would imagine a 12 year old bus is overdue for replacement.

        We don't want them to keep ancient buses around, and we also don't want them to not buy a new one when an old bus is retired, and finally we don't want them to buy something that is less expensive to purchase but has a higher TCO. Just about the only other logical alternative I can think of is to not have public transportation at all.

        Also, here's a breakdown of MTA revenue/expenses in 2007:
        http://www.ntdprogram.gov/ntdprogram/pubs/profiles/2007/agency_profiles/2188.pdf

        About 1/3 of revenues come from fares. Also worth noting is that the cost of the bus and the fuel is a drop in the bucket compared to personnel costs.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Level4
        The new buses will save money by reducing the amount of diesel used, as well as reducing the amount of pollution emitted in the city. This is a great use of MTA money.

        Public transportation pretty much always operates at a loss. They're providing a social good, however, which makes it worth while.
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