|New Flyer-ISE gasoline hybrid for Montebello.|
The Board of the City of Montebello, CA has authorized the purchase of 150 40-foot gasoline hybrid-electric buses, to be supplied by the team of New Flyer and ISE Corporation.
This is a Federal Transit Administration pooled procurement program that provides 90% federal funding to participating agencies. ISE will provide its ThunderVolt gasoline hybrid drive system. (Earlier post.) New Flyer of America will be the vehicle manufacturer.
Montebello Bus Lines (MBL) is the municipal bus operator serving East Los Angeles, Commerce, and the City of Montebello, and is the leading agency in this 7-agency pooled procurement program. The other participating agencies are Norwalk Transit System, El Dorado Transit Authority, Fresno Area Express, Long Beach Transit, Napa Valley Transit, and Torrance Transit.
The hybrid buses will feature ISE’s ThunderVolt gasoline hybrid drive system, which was certified as an alternative fuel system by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) in November 2003. More than 100 of these hybrid buses are already in revenue service in various California cities, including Long Beach, Orange County, Norwalk, Montebello, Gardena, San Bernardino, and Fresno. Currently operating ThunderVolt gasoline hybrid-equipped buses have exceeded 4 million miles of total revenue service, with availability of 97% at the largest fleet in Long Beach.
|Components of the gasoline hybrid cradle. Click to enlarge.|
The series hybrid drive uses a Ford ULEV 6.8-liter V-10 gasoline engine mated to a 650V, 150 kW Siemens ELFA generator and motor system. The dual drive motors each deliver 85 kW (114 hp) of power and maximum torque of 450 Nm (332 lb-ft). Energy is stored either in an ultracapacitor or a nickel sodium-chloride (Zebra) battery pack.
The hybrids deliver fuel economy of 3.5 to 4.5 mpg, with a typical range of around 300 miles. The bus can operate on battery power alone for 5–15 miles and in emergency situations. Regenerative braking recaptures up to 30% of daily operating energy.
At the recent ARB ZEV hearing, ISE Chief Scientist Paul Scott noted that ISE is also working with Altairnano on future li-ion battery packs in the context of hydrogen buses.
ISE will be delivering the new hybrid systems to New Flyer over the next 5 years.