DC Auto Show: 1,732 more orders for GM Hybrid buses

The pace of orders for GM's two-mode hybrid buses is picking steam. At the Washington DC Auto Show, General Motors has announced orders for an additional 1,732 GM-Allison diesel-electric transit buses. With the 1,000 Two-Mode bus being delivered to Las Vegas this month, the new orders will more than double the fleet since they first hit the road in 2003. The Washington Metro Transit Authority has placed the largest single order to date for 952 buses. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority's has ordered for 480 buses and Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro Transit wants another 300. To date the buses on the road have accumulated 55 million miles with no battery failures.

[Source: General Motors]
Orders for 1,700 Hybrid Buses Will Double GM-Allison Fleet
Hybrid buses will save an estimated 2.4 million gallons of fuel annually in Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Minneapolis/St. Paul

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Major orders from transit agencies in Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Minneapolis/St. Paul for up to 1,732 GM-Allison hybrid-powered buses will save an estimated 2.4 million gallons of fuel annually, enough to fill 300 tanker trucks, GM announced today at the Washington Auto Show.

These new deliveries will more than double the current fleet of nearly 1,000 GM-Allison hybrid buses, and potentially include the largest single hybrid bus fleet acquisition in history – an order for 952 by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

In addition, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority's order for 480 hybrid buses, as well as Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro Transit's plan to purchase up to 300 hybrid buses, will bring the number of GM-Allison hybrid buses to more than 2,700 units in 81 cities in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

"General Motors shares a common goal with transit agencies in Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Minneapolis/St. Paul to improve fuel economy and reduce vehicle emissions with proven, durable hybrid technology," Mark LeNeve, GM vice president of Vehicle Sales Service and Marketing, said during his keynote speech today at the Washington Auto Show.

"To date, the GM-Allison hybrid system has operated successfully for more than 55 million in-service miles without an end-of-life battery failure," LaNeve said. "We're now adapting that proven two-mode hybrid technology for use in our passenger vehicles, including the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon hybrids that go on sale this month, and the upcoming Cadillac Escalade hybrid, 2009 Chevrolet Silverado hybrid and the 2009 Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode Hybrid."

By the end of 2008, GM will offer eight hybrid models, more than any other automaker in the U.S., using either GM's two-mode hybrid system or the more affordable GM Hybrid system. Through 2011, GM intends to introduce 16 hybrid models, an average of one every three months.

GM debuted the hybrid technology for transit buses in 2003. Demand has been rising steadily each year. Later this month the 1,000th GM-Allison hybrid-powered bus will be delivered to the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada.

Other milestones in the last year for the GM-Allison hybrid system include:

• In 2007, more than 400 GM-Allison hybrid-powered buses were produced, with 360 units delivered to 36 cities – the highest annual totals since deliveries began.

• Seattle's King County Metro Transit Authority awarded a landmark order in May for 500 buses, most of which will be powered by the GM-Allison hybrid system.

• The first international delivery was made in May to Dresden, Germany.

"Energy diversity and environmental and technological leadership is a critical element of GM's business strategy and future success," said Beth Lowery, GM vice president, Energy, Environment and Safety Policy. "In the U.S., GM's strategy is to save as many gallons of fuel as possible by applying hybrid technology first to high-volume and high fuel-consuming vehicles such as mass transit buses."

GM-Allison hybrid-powered buses deliver significantly better fuel economy than conventional diesel buses, cut emissions and have operating sound levels approaching that of passenger cars. Other benefits include reduced maintenance costs resulting from extended brake, engine oil and transmission oil life, superior torque, and improved acceleration.

According to a study conducted in 2006 by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, transit buses with GM-Allison's hybrid technology deliver up to 75 percent better fuel economy than traditional transit buses, and reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) up to 39 percent, particulate matter (PM) up to 97 percent, carbon monoxide up to 60 percent and hydrocarbons up to 75 percent. The report was published in December 2006, and can be viewed at http://www.nrel.gov/vehiclesandfuels/fleettest/pdfs/40585.pdf.
The clean hybrid technology is licensed by General Motors to Allison Transmission, which assembles and sells the hybrid transmission to bus manufacturers.

About Allison Transmission, Inc.
Allison Transmission, Inc. (Allison) is the premier global provider of commercial duty automatic transmissions and hybrid propulsion systems. Allison products are specified by over 250 of the world's leading vehicle manufacturers and are used in many market sectors including bus, refuse, fire, construction, distribution, military and specialty applications. Founded in 1915, the Allison business is headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., U.S.A. and employs 3,600 people. Regional headquarters with dedicated support staff are located in China, The Netherlands, Brazil and Japan. With a global presence in 80 countries, Allison has over 1,500 distributor and dealer locations. Allison generates annual revenues in excess of $2 billion. More information about Allison is available at www.allisontransmission.com.

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest automaker, has been the annual global industry sales leader for 76 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 274,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 35 countries. In 2006, nearly 9.1 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.

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