An Azure Dynamics Balance hybrid shuttle bus based on a Ford E-450 chassis has completed an accelerated durability test that simulates seven years and 200,000 miles of duty. The test program was run at the Altoona, PA durability test facility. The Balance hybrid system is a parallel system that incorporates a drive motor inline with the drive shaft, battery pack and an integrated starter/generator to provide the start/stop capability. The system is paired up with the Ford 5.4L V8 in this cutaway van chassis that can be fitted with a variety of different body styles for different applications. Azure claims fuel efficiency improvements of up to 40 percent and a 30 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions for its hybrid system.
Azure claims the Balance shuttle, along with its series hybrid HD Senator CitiBus, are the only hybrid shuttles to have completed the testing. That makes these vehicles eligible for Federal Transit Authority grants that cover up to 80 percent of the cost when local transit system purchase these vehicles.
[Source: Azure Dynamics]
Azure Dynamics' Balance Hybrid Electric shuttle bus completes rigorous "Altoona" durability testing
OAK PARK, MI, January 29, 2009: Azure Dynamics Corporation (TSX: AZD, LSE: ADC & OTCQX: AZDDF) - ("Azure" or the "Company"), a leading developer of hybrid electric and electric powertrains for commercial vehicles, today announced that its revolutionary Balance(TM) Hybrid Electric shuttle bus has been certified by rigorous "Altoona" testing, on the Ford E-450 chassis, enabling purchasers of these hybrid vehicles to apply for financial assistance from the federal government.
Altoona testing subjects vehicle to a lifetime of usage in just a few months time at the Altoona, PA accelerated durability test center where harsh road conditions mimic real-world conditions endured by a commercial shuttle bus over a seven year, 200,000 mile cycle.
The successful completion of this test qualifies Ford E-450 shuttle buses built with Azure's Balance(TM) Hybrid Electric drive train system for Federal Transit Authority (FTA) programs of up to 80% funding when purchased by public transit agencies across the United States. In addition to FTA programs, Azure's Balance(TM) Hybrid Electric may qualify for up to a $3,000 US Federal tax credit and/or numerous individual state and agency programs.
The E-450 shuttle bus with Azure's Balance Hybrid System, along with Azure's series hybrid HD Senator CitiBus, are the only hybrid shuttle buses that have completed this significant Altoona durability testing. The testing is an important validation for the durability and engineering integrity of the Balance(TM) Hybrid Electric system.
"With the successful completion of the Altoona testing, now our municipal and government customers have another Azure hybrid shuttle bus option that qualifies for federal funding support (FTA)," Scott Harrison, Azure's Chief Executive Officer said. "We believe that our public transit customers share Azure's desire to be 'part of the solution' by providing energy efficient, reliable and clean transportation within our cities. With this federally funded program (FTA) now available, U.S. shuttle bus operators can cost effectively adopt an environmentally cleaner and more fuel efficient hybrid shuttle bus solution."
The Altoona test demonstrates, on an accelerated time frame, the ability of Azure's Balance(TM) Hybrid Electric system to withstand the rigors of operating in a demanding urban transit bus environment.
The Balance(TM) Hybrid Electric integrates Azure's proprietary technology onto Ford's E450 chassis. The result is a shuttle bus that provides up to a 40% fuel consumption savings and environmental benefit of over 30% reduction in green house gas emissions. In addition, Azure's Balance(TM) Hybrid Electric technology can reduce vehicle maintenance costs by approximately 30% thereby further reducing overall fleet operating costs.
The Azure G1Series-Hybrid HD Senator CitiBus shuttle bus had previously completed Altoona testing in 2007.