New York City transport services have ordered 500 more Orion VII series-hybrid-electric buses from DaimlerChrysler Commercial Buses North America. New York City Transit has ordered 216 units, and Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA Bus) 284.
This represents the largest order for hybrid buses to date, and is the third order in New York City, complementing the prior orders of 200 units and 125 units respectively.
Orion, DaimlerChrysler’s North American city bus brand, will begin deliveries in the second quarter of 2006.
The Orion VII buses with the BAE HybriDrive combine a 5.9-liter, 260 hp (194 kW) Cummins ULSD (Ultra Low-Sulfur Diesel) engine with a 120 kW traction generator. The traction motor delivers 250 hp (186 kW) and 2,700 lb-ft (3,657 Nm) of low-end torque.
Regenerative braking recharges the lead acid batteries used for energy storage. The series hybrid design eliminates the transmission, removing a major maintenance item on vehicles operated in heavy stop-and-go conditions and eliminating the jarring shift points common among conventionally propelled buses.
Compared to conventional diesel propulsion, the hybrid units will provide 25%–35% better fuel economy. New York City transit reports average operational gains in fuel efficiency of 28% over conventional diesel buses, as well as over the GM-Allison parallel-hybrid diesel-electric buses in use in Seattle and other cities.
The series hybrid units greatly reduce emissions compared to a conventional diesel bus: 90% less particulate matter, 40% less NOx and 30% less greenhouse gases.
Orion, along with its partner BAE Systems, the provider of the HybriDrive series-hybrid propulsion system, is now clearly the leading brand of hybrid buses worldwide with more than 300 units in revenue service and 700 more units on order for the Toronto Transit Commission, San Francisco MUNI and now New York City Transit and MTA Bus.