IC launches diesel hybrid bus platform

IC Corporation is the largest manufacturer of commercial and school buses in North America. If you live anywhere that has schools and school buses you have almost undoubtedly seen their products. At the BusCon Expo in Chicago, IC is launching their new line of diesel hybrid buses. These hybrid buses could be a real boon to school systems for several reasons. Many school districts, especially in states that have been hit by losses in manufacturing jobs and tax revenue like Michigan and Ohio, have been badly hurt in the last five years. These school districts scramble year after year to find ways to cut costs as their revenues remain flat while expenses for utilities, payrolls and benefits continue to climb.

A hybrid bus could be a big benefit since the usage profile typically involves lots of stops and starts which could provide for lots of regenerative braking. Maximum speeds are also typically low when moving through residential areas, so such a bus could run off the batteries much of the time. The reduction in particulate emissions from not running the engine all the time could also be highly beneficial to kids standing and waiting or getting dropped off by the bus. The buses feature a Enova System's post-transmission 80-kilowatt (peak) Hybrid Drive System coupled to the IC diesel engines. No word on availability but if the price is right this would be the ideal application of a hybrid drive system. The press release is after the jump.


CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--IC Corporation, North America's largest combined school bus and commercial bus manufacturer, announced today at the BusCon Expo at Navy Pier in Chicago that it is launching a new line of hybrid commercial buses. The innovative new buses can be powered by hybrid diesel-electric engines that provide significant improvement in fuel efficiency.

"Hybrid buses provide two distinct advantages," said Michael Cancelliere, Vice President and General Manager of IC Corporation. "With its reduced fuel use and emissions, it is environmentally friendly. Secondly, a significant increase in fuel efficiency can dramatically improve the bottom line of many businesses."

IC Corporation launched its new line of commercial buses this summer. The new bus line is the mid-size bus industry's only line of integrated buses – meaning that the chassis and body are built to work together for enhanced performance and durability. The buses are targeted for use by various vocations, including small to mid-size transit agencies, municipalities, and other shuttle applications such as hotels, universities and tour companies. Each of the bus models caters to specific industry needs and will soon be available as hybrid buses.

IC Corporation's new commercial bus line will include:

* A new low-floor bus (LC Series) built specifically for easy accessibility
* A new medium-duty bus (HC Series)
* A new front-engine transit bus model (FC Series)
* A new rear-engine transit bus model (RC Series)

The hybrid bus line features Enova System's post-transmission 80-kilowatt (peak) Hybrid Drive System and was extensively tested and evaluated at IC Corporation's research and technology facility in Fort Wayne, Ind.

The powertrains for the hybrid buses will couple either the International® DT 466 diesel engine or the International® VT 365 diesel engine with the 80-kilowatt hybrid-electric powertrain, incorporating a transmission, batteries and an electric motor. The system is based on a parallel architecture, allowing the system to utilize both diesel and electric power in a highly efficient manner. The system recovers kinetic energy during regenerative braking, charging the batteries while the bus is slowing down.

This is the third major hybrid bus announcement from IC Corporation this year. In July, the company unveiled the nation's first hybrid school bus at a school bus industry show in New York. In August, IC Corporation was awarded a competitive bid to provide 19 hybrid school buses to 11 states. All of IC's hybrid buses integrate Enova's non-invasive Hybrid System and have shown significant improvements in performance, fuel economy and emissions reductions.

"IC Corporation understands the needs of its customers and delivers buses with superior performance, outstanding durability and a national network of dealers for service and support," said Cancelliere. "We're proud to be leaders in hybrid technology in the school bus and commercial bus industries. This is another example of delivering great products at a competitive cost to assure profitable growth for our company."

About IC Corporation

IC Corporation, the nation's largest integrated school bus and commercial bus manufacturer, is an affiliate of International Truck and Engine Corporation. International produces school bus chassis, mid-range diesel engines, medium trucks, heavy trucks, severe service vehicles, and is a provider of parts and service sold under the International brand. Both IC and International are affiliates of Navistar International Corporation (NYSE:NAV). Additional information is available site at: www.ic-corp.com.

About Enova Systems, Inc.

Enova Systems (AMEX:ENA) and (AIM:ENV and ENVS) is a leading supplier of efficient, environmentally friendly digital power components and systems products. The company's core competencies are focused on the development and commercialization of power management and conversion systems for mobile and stationary applications. Enova applies unique "enabling technologies" in the areas of alternative energy propulsion systems for medium and heavy-duty vehicles as well as power conditioning and management systems for distributed generation systems. The company develops, designs and produces drive systems and related components for electric, hybrid-electric, and fuel cell powered vehicles. For further information, contact Enova Systems directly, or visit its Web site at www.enovasystems.com.

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