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New Flyer advances second year production of diesel-electric hybrids for SEPTA; IAP II electrification

New Flyer of America Inc., the US subsidiary of New Flyer Industries Inc., the largest transit bus and motor coach manufacturer and parts distributor in North America, is advancing production of 105 Xcelsior diesel-electric hybrid, forty-foot heavy-duty transit buses for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). It is the second installment of a five-year contract for 525 hybrid buses approved by SEPTA in May 2016.

Separately, New Flyer also announced immediate availability of Increased Accessory Power II for the Allison Transmission Hybrid H 40 EP and H 50 EP propulsion systems. The option uses electrification to power accessory components for additional fuel economy.

The SEPTA buses will be deployed in the City of Philadelphia and surrounding suburbs of Delaware, Montgomery, Bucks, and Chester, supporting four million people living in and around southeastern Pennsylvania. The diesel-electric Xcelsiors will help deliver on SEPTA’s strategic focus on environmental sustainability and tightened emissions controls.

SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey Knueppel noted that while currently just over half of SEPTA’s bus fleet are diesel-electric hybrids, at the conclusion of the five-year contract, hybrids will comprise 95% of its bus fleet.

SEPTA operates all five major types of terrestrial transit vehicles: regional (commuter) rail trains, heavy rapid transit (subway/elevated) trains, light rail vehicles (trolleys), trolley buses, and motor buses.

Electrification option. Increased Accessory Power II (IAP II) is a customizable electric distribution platform that provides power from the Allison electric hybrid system to accessory components such as electric air conditioning, electric air compressors, and 24VDC power steering systems. The system improves on the electric hybrid’s efficiency by distributing the electric hybrid power throughout the bus. Available in standard and articulated bus applications, IAP II includes either a single or dual Hybrid Beltless Alternator (HBA).

IAP II offers the following benefits:

  • Allows accessories to operate at the most efficient speeds, improving fuel economy Replaces alternator and belt with a more reliable and efficient DC-DC converter, resulting in improved fuel economy.

  • Increases brake responsiveness.

  • Improves low-speed maneuverability, due to smoother 24VDC power steering.

  • Enables faster interior cooling, without straining the engine or burning unnecessary fuel by running engines at high idle.

  • Allows for sub-component serviceability, whole system replacement becomes unnecessary.

  • Allows the accessories to continue to operate during engine stop-start operation.

Like IAP I, IAP II utilizes a high voltage distribution module (HVDM) for intelligent control of high voltage electrical power and an HBA (or dual HBAs) for DC to DC conversion of high voltage to 24VDC. IAP II also adds an inverter that converts high voltage DC to high voltage AC that can power components while simultaneously eliminating the cost and need for the air conditioning system’s integral inverter.

Since 2003, Allison has delivered more than 8,000 hybrid propulsion systems globally which have accumulated nearly 800 million miles, saving more than 41 million gallons of fuel, and preventing 400 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.



Hybrid-electric buses (trains, subways, trucks) is a good interim solution to reduce fossil fuel consumption, at least until batteries and/or FCs cost and performance have become competitive.

However, the diesel engines could be replace with up-to-date FCs to further reduce bio and fossil fuel consumption, noise, pollution and GHG.

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