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[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]

USDOT awarding $55M to support purchase of Low-No buses; electric buses and infrastructure

September 17, 2017

The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced $55 million in grant selections through the Low or No Emission (Low-No) Vehicle program, which funds the development of transit buses and infrastructure that use advanced fuel technologies. Fifty-one projects in 39 states will receive a share of the funding. The vast majority of the funded projects are for battery-electric buses and infrastructure; two projects are receiving a total of $3.2 million for hydrogen fuel cell buses.

Eligible projects included those that replace, rehabilitate, lease, and purchase buses and related equipment as well as projects to purchase, rehabilitate, construct or lease bus-related facilities, such as buildings for bus storage and maintenance. Projects can also include workforce development components to train the next generation of transit employees.

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Daimler begins deliveries of electric FUSO eCanter; UPS first commercial customer; NGO fleets

September 15, 2017

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC), part of Daimler Trucks, celebrated the global launch of the FUSO eCanter (earlier post) in New York City. The FUSO eCanter is the world’s first series-produced all-electric light-duty truck and will be delivered to customers starting this year in the US, Europe and Japan. MFTBC is planning to deliver 500 units of this generation to customers within the next two years. Larger scale production is intended to start in 2019.

FUSO also announced the company’s first US commercial partner for the eCanter: UPS will place three of the new electric trucks into its fleet. In coordination with the office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, FUSO also will supply a fleet of local zero‑e mission FUSO eCanter trucks to well-known New York based not-for-profits, including: Wildlife Conservation Society, New York Botanical Garden, Habitat for Humanity New York City, and Big Reuse Brooklyn.

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Ballard signs LOI to power first fuel-cell tram-buses with Van Hool in Pau, France

September 14, 2017

Ballard Power Systems has accepted a Letter of Intent to provide FCveloCity-HD 100 kW fuel cell systems to power eight ExquiCity tram-buses being built by Van Hool NV, a Ballard partner in Europe, for delivery in Pau, France to the SMTU-PPP (Syndicat Mixte de Transports urbains – Pau Portes des Pyrénées) and the STAP (Société de Transport de l’Agglomération Paloise) during the second half of 2019. (Earlier post.)

These will be the first hydrogen bus routes in France and the world’s first hydrogen tram-Van Hool ExquiCity tram-busbuses for a full BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) system. These clean energy hybrid tram-buses will use fuel cells for primary power and lithium batteries for additional power when needed. Each tram-bus is more than 18 meters long (more than 60 feet), has capacity for 125 passengers and can operate more than 300 kilometers (185 miles) between hydrogen refueling, which take just 10 minutes to complete.

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Lightning Systems and New Eagle unveil battery-electric upfit system for Ford Transit passenger wagon, van, cutaway, chassis cab models

September 13, 2017

Lightning Systems, a developer of efficiency and emissions improvement solutions for fleets, in partnership with New Eagle, a mechatronic control system provider, will introduce a full battery-electric upfit system for Ford Transit passenger wagon, van, cutaway and chassis cab models.

The new LightningElectric zero-emissions package is available for Ford Transit as part of Ford’s eQVM program. The product will be available first on heavy-duty Transits with a 10,360-pound gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and will go on sale in early 2018. Conversions and service are performed by Ford QVM-certified upfitters and dealers around the world.

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Ford Transit plug-in series hybrid van makes it debut in UK; 1.0L EcoBoost range extender

September 06, 2017

Ford’s new plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) Transit Custom van (earlier post) made its debut at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle 2017 event in Millbrook, UK. The vehicle makes its first appearance as Ford prepares 20 PHEV Transits for the 12-month fleet customer trial in London that begins in late 2017.

Scheduled for volume production in 2019, the Transit Custom PHEV has an advanced series hybrid system that targets a zero-emission range exceeding 50 kilometers (31 miles), and features the multi-award winning Ford EcoBoost 1.0-liter gasoline engine as a range extender. The EcoBoost engine charges the on-board batteries when longer trips are required between charging stops, providing operators with efficiency and flexibility.

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GreenPower Motor secures commitments for 11 electric school buses in California; ARB approval for $95K HVIP incentive

August 21, 2017

Canada-based GreenPower Motor Company (earlier post) and its California factory direct dealer, School Bus Sales of California, have secured commitments for eleven batteery-electric Synapse 72 school buses from six different school districts in South Coast and North Coast California districts. The two have been giving demonstrations of the Synapse 72 electric school bus to school districts and charter schools selected by the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District for funding directly tied to the purchases of all-electric school buses.

Additionally, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) has approved the battery-electric Synapse Shuttle bus for the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) for $95,000 for each Synapse Shuttle sold in the State of California. In addition, HVIP provides increased incentives of $15,000 for fleets located in or serving disadvantaged communities and $10,000 for the first three buses acquired by an operator.

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San Joaquin Regional Transit District opens 1st all-electric bus rapid transit route in US; all routes to be electric by 2025

August 19, 2017

The San Joaquin (California) Regional Transit District (RTD) is converting its existing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Express Route 44 to 100% battery-electric buses this month. That BRT route will be the first in the US to feature all-electric bus service. The BRT buses were designed and built by California-based Proterra.

At the time of the conversion, Route 44 will be extended to serve passengers from the Downtown Transit Center (DTC) in Central Stockton to as far south as Qantas Lane near Arch-Airport Road. The change will enable people who work or study at locations such as PG&E, Dorfman Pacific, Venture Academy, San Joaquin County Office of Education, and the Economic Development Department Qantas Lane office, to commute rapidly and economically.

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Deutsche Post DHL Group, Ford unveil early build StreetScooter WORK XL electric delivery van; 150 pre-production vehicles

August 16, 2017

Deutsche Post DHL Group and Ford presented the first of their jointly produced electric delivery vans in Cologne, Germany. The vehicle, called the StreetScooter WORK XL, is based on a Ford Transit chassis fitted with a battery-electric drivetrain and a body designed and built to Deutsche Post DHL specifications. (Earlier post.)

In 2017, around 150 early build e-vans will be manufactured in the StreetScooter plant in Aachen, Germany. Deutsche Post DHL will use the e-vans to support its urban parcel delivery service in Germany. Deutsche Post DHL, StreetScooter and Ford plan to build 2,500 e-vans by the end of 2018. Like StreetScooter’s existing electric models—the WORK and WORK L—the WORK XL could be also sold to third-party customers.

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

August 15, 2017

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.

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California ARB fines BNSF and Union Pacific $1.25M over drayage truck violations

August 11, 2017

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) reached settlements with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company (BNSF) and Union Pacific Railroad Company (UPRR) to resolve violations of the state’s drayage truck regulation, which requires cleanup of trucks servicing the state’s busy ports and intermodal rail yards.

An investigation by CARB’s Enforcement Division documented that both companies had failed to accurately report all the required information for noncompliant trucks entering 12 separate intermodal terminals. Intermodal terminals facilitate transfer of goods from train to truck or vice-versa.

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New electric truck company Chanje emerges from stealth; first model out this year

August 10, 2017

Chanje, a California-based commercial electric vehicle and energy solutions company, has emerged from stealth mode. Chanje’s first model, the V8070 panel van, already has volume orders and will be delivered later this year. The van has a payload capacity of up to 6,000 lbs (2,870 kg) and 580 ft3 of cargo volume. A 70 kWh liquid-cooled battery can charge at up to 7.2 kW. The dual motor system delivers a peak 148 kW and 564 lb-ft (764 N·m) of torque. The Chanje vehicles have demonstrated greater than 50 MPGe fuel economy in city and highway driving when tested by independent third-parties.

Utilizing a single platform and global vehicle strategy, Chanje will subsequently introduce a full range of electric models including larger trucks and shuttle buses in a variety of lengths and capacities, all aimed at the urban vehicle segment.

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Cenex involved in large-scale UK trial of biomethane-fueled heavy-duty trucks

August 06, 2017

Cenex—the UK’s first Center of Excellence for low carbon technologies—announced its involvement in the UK’s largest trial of biomethane-fueled trucks. Led by Air Liquide and funded in part by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) in partnership with Innovate UK via the recently launched Low Emission Freight and Logistics Project (earlier post), the “Dedicated to Gas” trial will see large fleet operators—including Kuehne + Nagel; Wincanton; ASDA; Brit European, Howard Tenens and Great Bear—test the effectiveness of 81 dedicated gas-powered heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).

The trucks in trial range from 12 to 44 tonnes, and are all new to the UK market. The trial will road test the HGVs across 10 different vehicle configurations, generting data on vehicle performance, fuel efficiency, reliability and cost.

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Irizar lands contracts for 15 12m electric buses in Madrid, 4 18m artic electric buses in Barcelona

July 29, 2017

Irizar has been awarded the contract for Madrid’s first 15 electric buses and Barcelona’s first four electric articulated buses. With the capture of these 22 new units for the mainland market, Irizar e-mobility has become the market leader for electric buses in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao and San Sebastián.

Barcelona Metropolitan Transport (Transportes Metropolitanos de Barcelona - TMB) is acquiring four 18.73-meter electric articulated buses. With this purchase, the Barcelona-based company is tackling the first phase of transforming the H16 line to a 100% electric, zero emissions route.

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Daimler starts production of FUSO eCanter in Europe; first series all-electric light-duty truck

July 28, 2017

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) has started production of the all‑electric light-duty truck Fuso eCanter in Tramagal, Portugal. (Earlier post.) Fuso is a brand of Daimler Trucks Asia. The Fuso eCanter is produced in line with the conventional Canter light-duty truck at the Tramagal plant.

Only the electric-powertrain specific components will be installed in specific boxes along the production line. The vehicles coming from Tramagal, Portugal will be handed over to customers within Europe and the US within the next month. In May, MFTBC already announced its first commercial customer in the Japanese market: Seven-Eleven Co., Ltd. will be operating 25 units of the new eCanter in their fleet within this year. Production of the eCanter in Japan started on 7 July.

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Royal Mail to buy 100 Peugeot electric vans for delivery vehicles

July 27, 2017

Royal Mail has signed an agreement with Peugeot to purchase 100 Partner L2 Electric vans, to be used as delivery vehicles. The vans will go into service from December 2017 at delivery offices around the UK, supported by a comprehensive rollout of charging infrastructure. Royal Mail—since 2003 a quoted company with shares traded on the LSE—is the UK’s designated Universal Postal Service Provider.

The Partner L2 Electric was launched in February; this is the first major fleet order for the van. The lithium-ion battery pack is fitted under the load floor, ensuring there is no loss of load space compared with gasoline and diesel-powered Partner L2 models. The Partner L2 Electric will carry a gross payload of 552 kg (1,217 lbs).

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Germany supporting truck platooning project with nearly €2M

July 13, 2017

Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is awarding nearly €2 million (US$2.3 million) to support a truck platooning project by DB Schenker, MAN, and Hochschule. (Earlier post.) The project will run until January 2019.

Initially the partners will test truck convoys in everyday operation at the digital test site, the A9 freeway, for several months to analyze their suitability for practical application and system safety in real traffic scenarios as well as within the logistics processes of DB Schenker. This phase is also aimed at investigating the potential effects of the new technology on the truck driver profession.

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Blue Bird unveils two new electric school buses at the 2017 STN Expo; partners Adomani and EDI

July 12, 2017

Blue Bird unveiled two new electric-powered school buses at the STN Tradeshow in Las Vegas: a Type A Micro Bird G5 electric-powered school bus and an all-new electric Type D chassis which will power its Type D All-American rear engine (RE) school bus.

The Blue Bird All American RE electric bus chassis was developed in conjunction with California-based Adomani, Inc. and operates on an energy-efficient electric drivetrain supplied by Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI). The bus offers battery capacities of 100-150 kWh with an expected 80-100 miles range from a single charge, depending on driving habits.

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NREL report on electric bus demo at Foothill Transit finds Proterra fuel economy >8x higher than CNG on same line

July 08, 2017

A team from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released the second report summarizing the results of the battery-electric bus (BEB) demonstration underway at Foothill Transit in California. This latest report provides data and analysis on 12 Proterra BEBs and eight CNG baseline buses from August 2015 through December 2016.

Among the findings are that the BEBs had an overall average efficiency of 2.17 kWh per mile—17.35 miles per diesel gallon equivalent (mpdge). The CNG buses had an average fuel economy of 3.89 mpgge, equating to 4.34 mpdge. However, because Foothill Transit operates its BEB and CNG bus fleets differently, the efficiency results presented are not an apples-to-apples comparison. Using data from two days of CNG bus operation on the route serviced by the BEBs line, the NREL team found that the BEB fuel economy was more than 8 times higher than that of a CNG bus operating exclusively on that route.

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IEA: improving efficiency of road-freight transport critical to reduce oil-demand growth; three areas of focus

July 03, 2017

Improving the efficiency of road-freight transport is critical to reducing the growth in oil demand, carbon emissions and air pollution over the next decades, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest report, The Future of Trucks: Implications for energy and the environment.

Although trucks are a major contributor to the growth in transport-fuel consumption and emissions, the sector receives far less attention and policy focus than passenger vehicles, the IEA noted. Only four countries have energy-efficiency standards for heavy trucks, compared with some 40 countries with passenger-vehicle standards. Yet the growth in oil demand from trucks has outpaced all other sectors—including passenger cars, aviation, industry and petrochemical feedstocks—since 2000 and contributed 40% to global oil demand growth, a similar contribution as cars.

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UPS commits to aggressive goals for more alternative vehicles, fuel and renewable power by 2025

June 27, 2017

UPS announced new sustainability goals to add more alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles to its fleet while increasing its reliance on renewable energy sources. The goals, available in the company’s 2016 Corporate Sustainability Report, support UPS’ commitment to reduce its absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from global ground operations 12% by 2025, a goal developed using a methodology approved by the Science Based Targets initiative.

UPS has a goal that 25% of the electricity it consumes will come from renewable energy sources by 2025—a significant increase from the 0.2% in 2016. In addition, by 2020 UPS plans that one in four new vehicles purchased annually will be an alternative fuel or advanced technology vehicle, up from 16% in 2016. The company also set a new goal that by 2025, 40% of all ground fuel will be from sources other than conventional gasoline and diesel, an increase from 19.6% in 2016.

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Deutsche Post and Ford to manufacture Transit-based electric delivery van

June 14, 2017

Deutsche Post subsidiary StreetScooter GmbH (earlier post) and Ford-Werke GmbH are entering a partnership for the manufacturing of battery-electric delivery vehicles.

StreetScooter, a start-up spun out of German technical university RWTH Aachen, has already developed a small electric van; the StreetScooter van is powered by a 20.4 kWh Li-ion battery pack and propelled by a 30 kW motor. Top speed is 80 km/h (50 mph). The partners will now tackle a larger vehicle, based on the chassis of the Ford Transit.

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Michelin to acquire commercial truck telematics provider NexTraq; pushing to grow its services business

Michelin will acquire NexTraq, a US provider of commercial fleet telematics, in an all-cash transaction. Based in the Atlanta area, NexTraq is a subsidiary of FLEETCOR Technologies, Inc., a leading global provider of fuel cards and workforce payment products.

NexTraq provides solutions for driver safety, fuel management and enhancing fleet productivity. Since its inception in 2000, NexTraq has become a leading provider of GPS fleet management solutions for fleets of small commercial vehicles (classes 3‒5) ranging from two to 50 vehicles.

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Hydrogenics to provide 1,000 fuel cell bus power modules to Blue-G in China; $50M deal

June 09, 2017

Hydrogenics Corporation, a leading developer and manufacturer of hydrogen generation and hydrogen-based power modules, has signed a Purchase and License Agreement for technology and fuel cells with Blue-G New Energy Science and Technology Corporation (Blue-G) in China.

Under the agreement, Hydrogenics will deliver 1,000 fuel cell units to Blue-G to be integrated into zero-emission electric buses and an engineering support component for an aggregate sum payable to the Company of more than US$50 million. Delivery of the fuel cells and the associated payments are expected to occur over the next two to three years. Hydrogenics also expects to generate incremental license royalties over a 10-year period.

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Bus operators launch joint procurement for 63 fuel cell buses in Germany and South Tyrol; part of JIVE

May 30, 2017

Wuppertal-based WSW mobil GmbH last week tendered the procurement of 63 fuel cell buses for operation in public transport. WSW is coordinating the joint procurement for its partners Verkehrs-Verbund Mainz-Wiesbaden GmbH; traffiQ Frankfurt; Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH (all Germany); and SASA SpA-AG in Bolzano (Itay) which are going to operate these buses in the next years. The coordinated procurement of buses based on a joint specification sheet targets achieving lower prices for the buses.

The joint procurement activity is part of the JIVE (Joint Initiative for hydrogen Vehicles across Europe) project, an EU-funded project deploying 139 new zero emission fuel cell buses across nine cities, the first deployment of this scale in Europe. (Earlier post.) JIVE is going to become the largest fuel cell bus project in Europe.

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Mercedes-Benz: electric Citaro entering production next year; e-mobility consultancy service for transport operators

May 17, 2017

At the Global Public Transport Summit (GPTS) in Montreal/Canada, the congress of the International Association of Public Transport, UITP, Mercedes-Benz again confirmed that battery-electric versions of its Citro bus (earlier post) would enter series production next year. prototypes are already undergoing testing on the roads.

The company said that the electrically powered Citaro will open up a new chapter in electric mobility, because Mercedes-Benz is not looking at the city bus in isolation, but as an integral part of a highly efficient transport system.

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Motiv Power Systems to power 13 electric school buses in California pilot

May 11, 2017

Motiv Power Systems, in partnership with Type-A school bus manufacturer Trans Tech, is bringing electric school buses to the Sacramento, California region. A $7.5-million grant from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will support the building of 13 battery-electric school buses as part of the Sacramento Regional Zero-Emission School Bus Deployment Project. The 13 buses will go to Elk Grove Unified School District and Twin Rivers Unified School District.

This is the board’s largest school bus grant to date and was the only application approved of all the school bus applications submitted to the state grant program.

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US EPA settles with three trucking companies over California diesel rule; $201K in penalties

May 05, 2017

The Environmental Protection Agency announced settlements with three companies totaling $201,000 in penalties for violating California’s Truck and Bus Regulation. The companies either failed to install particulate filters on their own heavy-duty diesel trucks or failed to verify that trucks they hired for use in California complied with the state rule.

The California Truck and Bus Regulation was adopted into federal Clean Air Act plan requirements in 2012 and applies to diesel trucks and buses operating in California. (Earlier post.) The rule requires trucking companies to upgrade vehicles they own to meet specific NOx and particulate matter performance standards and also requires trucking companies to verify compliance of vehicles they hire or dispatch. Heavy-duty diesel trucks in California must meet 2010 engine emissions levels or use diesel particulate filters that can reduce the emissions of diesel particulates into the atmosphere by 85% or more.

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Lightning Hybrids renames itself Lightning Systems; rollout of new lineup of fleet efficiency products

May 03, 2017

Lightning Hybrids, developer and manufacturer of hydraulic hybrid systems, has changed its name to Lightning Systems, effective immediately. Tim Reeser, CEO of Lightning Systems, made the announcement today at the ACT Expo. Lightning Systems also announced that in the next two years it will introduce a new lineup of fleet efficiency products to support commercial and government fleets.

To keep up with demand, support manufacturing of new products, and to service its customers, Lightning Systems also will be moving its corporate headquarters to the Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation & Technology in Loveland at Southwest 14th Street and Taft Avenue. The new space has 45,000 square-feet, nearly doubling the size of the company’s existing headquarters. Lightning Systems announced that its current portfolio of product offerings will include:

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UPS to deploy prototype Class 6 extended range fuel cell electric vehicle delivery truck; trials begin in Q3

May 02, 2017

UPS will deploy a prototype extended range Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) in its Rolling Laboratory fleet of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. UPS is working with the US Department of Energy (DOE) and other partners to design a first-of-its-kind, zero tailpipe emissions, Class 6 medium-duty delivery truck that meets the same route and range requirements of UPS’ existing conventional fuel vehicles.

The UPS trucks are equipped with a 32 kW Hydrogenics fuel cell coupled to 45 kWh of battery storage and 10 kg of hydrogen fuel. Each FCEV produces electricity which continuously charges its batteries, thereby providing additional power and an extended range of 125 miles. This will support the full duty cycle of the truck, including highway driving.

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Blue Bird first to offer school buses with Allison Transmission’s FuelSense 2.0 to optimize fuel economy

Blue Bird Corporation is offering a new product for their new buses ordered on or after 1 May 2017 with Allison transmissions: FuelSense 2.0, featuring DynActive Shifting. This is a software upgrade to the previous FuelSense offering, which allows fleets to optimize fuel economy and performance to their specific needs.

FuelSense 2.0 has packages tailored to different driving conditions that Blue Bird school buses face daily. The new FuelSense 2.0 technology uses DynActive Shifting to provide an infinitely variable combination of shift points, and uses a learning algorithm to continuously find the ideal balance of fuel economy and performance. It provides maximum value for applications with heavy start-stop needs, such as school buses.

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FTA announces $55M for FY 2017 Low-No funding

April 28, 2017

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced the availability of $55 million of Fiscal Year 2017 funds (FTA-2017-003-TPM-LowNo) for the purchase or lease of low- or no-emission vehicles as well as related equipment or facilities (Low-No). Only $31.5 million is available under the Continuing Resolution that expires on 28 April 28 2017.

The main purpose of the Low-No Program is to support the transition of the US transit fleet to the lowest polluting and most energy efficient transit vehicles. The Low-No Program provides funding to State and local governmental authorities for the purchase or lease of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses, including acquisition, construction, and leasing of required supporting facilities.

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DRIVEN consortium to test Level 4 autonomous fleet in UK in 2019

April 25, 2017

The DRIVEN consortium—led by artificial intelligence company Oxbotica, which is developing next-gen autonomous vehicles—will test a fleet of fully autonomous vehicles in urban areas and on motorways, culminating in an end-to-end journey from London to Oxford. These vehicles will operate at Level 4 autonomy—with capability of performing all safety-critical driving functions and monitoring roadway conditions for an entire trip, with zero-passenger occupancy.

No connected and autonomous vehicle trial at this level of complexity and integration has yet been attempted. DRIVEN is supported by a £8.6-million (US$11-million) grant awarded by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles and delivered through Innovate UK.

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Ford confirms five fleets in London for Transit Custom Plug-in Hybrid Van pilot program

April 24, 2017

Ford announced five fleets that will participate in the Ford Transit Custom plug-in hybrid van pilot program in London, starting this fall. (Earlier post.) The pilot program is designed to explore how lower-emission plug-in hybrid electric vans could support cleaner air targets, while boosting productivity for operators in urban conditions.

The project, supported by Transport for London, features a 12-month pilot of 20 new Ford Transit Custom plug-in hybrid vans that reduce local emissions by running solely on electric power for the majority of inner-city trips. Equipped with range extenders, the fleet is not limited by battery range, making them capable of the longer journeys that may be required by businesses and police and emergency vehicle services.

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SunLine Transit receives $12.5M for five H2-powered buses, H2 generating station in Coachella Valley

April 21, 2017

California Climate Investments is awarding a $12.5-million grant to SunLine Transit Agency for five new zero-emission New Flyer hydrogen fuel cell buses. The grant also supports the development of the largest hydrogen fueling station in the US of its kind, from Hydrogenics, using electricity and renewable energy to generate clean hydrogen.

The grant is part of the state’s effort to use proceeds from the climate change cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gases, including a widespread effort to promote low carbon transit such as hydrogen-powered or electric buses throughout California, with a special focus on serving disadvantaged communities.

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Workhorse releases specs for coming W-15 extended range electric pickup

April 14, 2017

Workhorse has released initial specifications of its W-15 pickup truck, for which it has accumulated letters of intent for 2,150 units. (Earlier post.) A drivable prototype of the W-15 will be unveiled at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Long Beach, California, on May 2. Production models are scheduled for delivery in 2018.

Designed specifically to meet the needs of commercial fleets, the W-15 is believed to be the first plug-in, range-extended pickup truck built from the ground up by an original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

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Hermes to deploy 1500 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Vito electric vans by 2020; pilot project in 2018

March 28, 2017

Hermes and Mercedes-Benz Vans have agreed on a wide-ranging strategic partnership to electrify the courier service’s vehicle fleet. The companies are to start using battery-electric vehicles in the logistics provider’s normal operations in a pilot phase in Stuttgart and Hamburg in early 2018.

The focus will be on the economy, sustainability and practicality of tailpipe emission-free delivery vans when used for the last mile. By the end of 2020, Hermes Germany intends to deploy 1,500 Mercedes-Benz Vito and Sprinter electric vans in urban areas across Germany.

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UPS to invest more than additional $90M in natural gas vehicles and infrastructure; 6 new CNG stations, 440 vehicles

March 16, 2017

UPS plans to build an additional six compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations and add 390 new CNG tractors and terminal trucks and 50 liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles to its alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet. UPS further cements its leadership in the alternative fuel market while continuing to reduce its environmental footprint with this more than $90 million investment in natural gas.

UPS has deployed more than 4,400 natural gas vehicles and a network of fueling stations, said Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president global engineering and sustainability. In 2016, UPS used more than 61 million gallons of natural gas in its ground fleet, which included 4.6 million gallons of renewable natural gas. The resulting decrease in the use of conventional gas and diesel decreased CO2 emissions by 100,000 metric tons, he said.

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Volvo Trucks and PATH successfully demo partially automated on-highway truck platooning in California; CACC

March 14, 2017

Volvo Trucks and Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology (PATH) at the University of California, Berkeley recently completed a successful demonstration of partially automated truck platooning, made possible by Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control technology (CACC).

Three Volvo VNL 670 model tractors hauled cargo containers at the Los Angeles Port complex and along Interstate 110, highlighting for public officials and other stakeholders the technology’s potential for improving highway safety, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing the capacity of transportation systems.

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Alstom and NTL launch electric Aptis as new mass transit mobility solution; four steerable wheels; Paris trials

March 13, 2017

Alstom and NTL presented Aptis, an innovative electric mobility solution for mass transit. Aptis’ unique and innovative design, based on that of a tram, incorporates low-floor accessibility and 360° views. Two or three large double doors enable easy on-and-off passenger flows and smooth access for wheelchairs and strollers. 95 passengers can travel on this 12-meter long bus.

Operators will benefit from a vehicle that is easy to maintain with the longest lifetime in its category. With four steerable wheels versus two for a bus, Aptis occupies 25% less surface area in curves. At bus stops, this minimizes the space needed to park while offering gains in available space for other vehicles.

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First of 27 BYD electric trucks arriving in Southern California freight and rail yards; $19.2M project

The State of California, San Bernardino Council of Governments (SBCOG) and partners Daylight Transport and BYD Motors celebrated the arrival of the first of 27 electric yard and service trucks for freight and rail yards in three disadvantaged communities in San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Fontana. The demonstration truck project is funded by $9 million from the State’s climate change-fighting cap-and-trade program and another $10.2 million in cash and in-kind matching funds.

The project demonstrates 23 battery-electric 80,000-pound (GCVWR) Class 8 yard trucks and four 16,100-pound (GVWR) Class 5 service trucks. Three yard trucks and a service truck will operate at Daylight and the other 23 will operate at two BNSF Railway rail yards in San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties. BNSF will take delivery of the electric trucks this summer.

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Porterville, CA orders ten 40' all-electric buses from GreenPower; option for 20 more

March 10, 2017

Canada-based GreenPower Motor Company has entered into a sales contract to supply 10 GreenPower EV350 40-foot zero-emission all-electric transit buses with the City of Porterville in California for deployment on all nine Porterville Transit routes. The order includes 11 charging systems to be installed at the maintenance facility and transit center for a total purchase price of approximately $9 million.

The funds for the acquisition were granted from the competitive California Air Resources Board (ARB) Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Pilot Program.

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Rail Management Services (RMS) orders 9 more Orange EV T-Series electric yard trucks

March 02, 2017

Rail Management Services (RMS), an intermodal lift-on/lift-off contractor with a hostling fleet of 700+ trucks, has placed a follow-on order for nine additional T-Series battery-electric terminal trucks from Orange EV.

Orange EV offers a range of configurations built to meet site-specific requirements while managing cost. The RMS reorder is consists of nine Extended Duty (160 kWh) trucks, each with galvanized frames but built to three different configurations: new, on-road (DOT compliant), with standard onboard charging; re-manufactured (aka re-powered), off-road, with offboard fast charging; and re-manufactured, off-road, with standard onboard charging.

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SCPPA signs letter of intent for 500 Workhorse W-15 4WD range-extended electric pickup trucks

February 28, 2017

Workhorse Group Inc. (WKHS), an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of battery-electric vehicles, received a Letter of Intent from Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) for 500 W-15 Plug-In Electric Pickup trucks. (Earlier post.) The Workhorse W-15 light duty platform design is an extension of the E-Gen electric technology used in Workhorse medium-duty delivery trucks. (Earlier post.)

With expected all-electric 80-mile range using Panasonic 18650 Li-ion batteries, the battery pack is expected to cover the vast majority of miles driven in a day by fleet owners of locally driven trucks. If needed, the gasoline generator (from BMW) will then operate after battery power has been depleted, providing a full hybrid range of 310 miles per tank.

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Toyota delivers fuel cell bus to Tokyo Metropolitan Government; more than 100 planned by 2020 Olympics

February 24, 2017

Toyota Motor Corporation delivered the first fuel cell bus (FC bus) sold under the Toyota brand to the Bureau of Transportation of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. This FC bus will be put into operation as a Toei route bus in March along with a second bus that is scheduled for delivery in the same month.

Toyota plans to introduce more than 100 FC buses mainly within the Tokyo area, ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The increased use of FC buses in urban areas is expected to help raise the level of understanding by the general public regarding the use of FC buses as a form of public transportation.

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MAN and Austria’s CNL partnering on medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks; trials this year, production 2018

February 21, 2017

MAN Truck & Bus, a member of the Volkswagen Group, and the Austrian Council for Sustainable Logistics (CNL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to enter into a development partnership on electric drive medium- and heavy-duty trucks. MAN also presented an all-electric prototype of a semitrailer tractor unit for urban distribution transport.

As part of its partnership with CNL—a group of fifteen of Austria’s largest companies in the retail, logistics and production sectors—MAN will be making test vehicles available to nine CNL member companies for practical trials from the end of 2017. Further, MAN intends to begin producing electric versions of the MAN TGM series—manufactured at its Steyr, Austria site—from the end of 2018. CNL plans to up its use of eTrucks for inner-city and suburban distribution transport from 2020 onwards in order to make an active contribution towards reducing emissions in cities.

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Ballard in consortium with New Flyer to deploy 20 fuel cell electric buses in CA

February 14, 2017

Ballard Power Systems announced its membership in the “Fuel Cell Electric Bus Commercialization Consortium” (FCEBCC), a large-scale project for which funding has now been committed to support deployment of 20 zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell electric buses at two California transit agencies. Ten (10) buses are to be deployed with Alameda Contra-Costa Transit District (AC Transit) and 10 buses are to be deployed with the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA).

The FCEBCC project is funded and sponsored by: the California Air Resources Board (CARB) through the California Climate Investments program; the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD); and the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). The Center for Transportation and Environment (CTE), a non-profit member-based organization, is providing project management and oversight.

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Volvo Buses receives order for 90 electric hybrid buses and fast charging stations from Belgium

February 10, 2017

Volvo Buses has secured its largest order yet for complete solutions for electric bus traffic. The Belgian cities of Charleroi and Namur have together ordered 90 Volvo 7900 Electric Hybrid buses as well as 12 charging stations. The buyer is public transport company TEC Group. The charging stations will be delivered by ABB.

The order from TEC Group covers 55 buses for Charleroi and another 35 buses for Namur. ABB will supply 4 charging stations to Charleroi and 8 charging stations for Namur. Delivery and installation will get under way this autumn. After the delivery, the TEC Group will have ordered in total 101 Volvo electric hybrids and 15 ABB charging stations.

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California ARB to award up to $10M for zero- and near-zero emission school buses

February 07, 2017

A new program funded by proceeds from California’s cap-and-trade program aims to encourage the turnover of California’s school bus fleet to zero-emission and cleaner-burning school buses.

The program, known as The Rural School Bus Pilot Project, is a partnership between the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District (AQMD) and the California Air Resources Board. The North Coast Unified AQMD will administer the $10 million funding for this statewide school bus project.

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Groupe Renault acquires PVI, a specialist in the electrification of Light Commercial Vehicles

February 06, 2017

Groupe Renault has acquired the French company PVI (Power Vehicle Innovation), which specializes in the conversion of commercial vehicles to electricity or natural gas.

PVI has previously worked with Groupe Renault on the development and electrification of the upcoming Renault Master Z.E. This large van, which was unveiled at the Brussels Motor Show in January and which is due to be launched before the end of 2017, will extend the Group’s existing range of electric LCVs. (Earlier post.)

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Volvo receives order for 8 all-electric buses in UK; OppCharge opportunity charging

Volvo Buses has received an order for eight electric buses, the Volvo 7900 electric, from Transdev Blazefield, the owner of the Harrogate Bus Company in the UK. Operations start in 2018 in Harrogate, 90 km northeast of Manchester.

When the vehicles enter service in 2018, the project will be the first of its kind in the UK introducing full electric vehicles using opportunity charging via the common interface OppCharge, whereby the charging stations can also be used by electrified buses from other vehicle manufacturers. OppCharge is now starting to be used as a common interface in more than 12 countries. (Earlier post.)

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UQM partners with Meritor for full e-axle systems for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles; prototypes later this year

February 02, 2017

UQM Technologies has signed a development agreement with Meritor. The development program is expected to last for two-and-one-half years. The alliance will develop full electric axle systems to address the increasing commercial vehicle market demand requirements for improved fuel economy and reduced emissions through much higher levels of vehicle electrification.

Meritor’s mechanical drivetrain components will be combined with UQM’s motor and inverter technology and hardware to create the Meritor and UQM Electric Axle System (MUQM Electric Axles) for the medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicle markets. The companies anticipate that prototypes will be ready by early fall of 2017.

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AKASOL to provide Li-ion batteries for electric buses to Scandinavian OEM through 2030; up to 4,500 systems

January 23, 2017

Germany-based Li-ion manufacturer AKASOL (earlier post) has signed a contract for the supply of Li-ion batteries to an unnamed international commercial vehicle manufacturer in Scandinavia for its entire electric bus fleet through 2023. In total, the order includes the delivery of up to 4,500 battery systems—revenue on the order of up to some triple-digit million euro figure.

The first series production buses fitted with AKASOL-battery systems are expected in 2018. The buses will feature either hybrid or battery-electric drive and have a capacity between 150 and 300 kWh.

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Volkswagen Truck & Bus launches two truck platooning projects; Scania in Singapore, MAN and Schenker in Germany

Volkswagen Truck & Bus companies have launched two truck platooning pilot projects: one, with Scania in Singapore (earlier post), the other with MAN and Schenker DB in Germany. Platooning is system in which several trucks drive in a convoy with the support of advanced driver assistance and control systems. They are linked by an “electronic drawbar”. The driver of the first vehicle sets the speed and the direction. Each platoon truck has a driver on board who is able to intervene in an emergency.

In Singapore, in the world’s largest pilot project of this kind, Scania will be developing and testing a comprehensive platooning solution. Truck platoons each composed of four trucks will cover a distance of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) on public roads to transport containers between various port terminals. The driver of the first truck will set the speed and direction, with the following three vehicles driving autonomously. This project has been commissioned by the Singapore port authority and the ministry of transport.

During the first phase of the project, Scania will be trialing the technology at its own test facility in Södertälje, Sweden, where it will be customizing it to meet local conditions. After this has been completed, the second phase will involve testing in Singapore.

MAN and logistics specialist DB Schenker are also forging a platooning partnership. This marks the first platooning alliance between an automotive manufacturer and a logistics company. Its purpose is to test platooning under realistic conditions over an extended period of time to gain meaningful data. For this purpose, a truck platoon is to travel on the A9 motorway between Munich and Nuremberg from 2018. In the ensuing step, the platoon is to be used at DB Schenker’s facility in Nuremberg.

Given the growing volume of traffic on public roads, there is a strong need for improved traffic flows. The advantages of platooning are obvious: thanks to the small distance of only 10-15 meters between the trucks, fuel savings of up 10% can be achieved. This also results in a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions. A further advantage is the lower risk of accidents.

The pilot projects are key components of more efficient transportation of goods on the road. Platooning is beneficial for the environment, improves the flow of traffic and increases road safety. What we now need is the legislative framework allowing us to introduce platooning on public roads.

—Andreas Renschler, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG and Chief Executive Officer of Volkswagen Truck & Bus GmbH

The use of platooning in Europe will be technically possible from around 2020. However, implementation is contingent upon the legislative framework being duly modified in EU countries.

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Ford running 12-month trial of 20 plug-in hybrid Transit Custom vans in London

January 20, 2017

Ford is launching a multi-million pound project designed to help improve air quality in London. The project, supported by Transport for London, features a 12-month trial of 20 new plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Transit Custom vans that reduce local emissions by running solely on electric power for the majority of city trips such as deliveries or maintenance work.

Ford plans to introduce a Transit Custom PHEV van on the market in 2019; the Transit Custom PHEV vans in the London trial are an advanced prototype design that allows them to be charged with mains electricity for zero-emission journeys, while featuring an efficient on-board combustion engine for extended range when longer trips are required. Ford is the first volume manufacturer to offer PHEV technology in this segment of the van market.

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Efficient Drivetrains awarded bus fleet order for the City of Sheyang, China

January 19, 2017

Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI) Awarded Bus Fleet Order for the City of Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI) has received a major order for its EDI PowerDrive 6000 systems from the city of Sheyang in China. The company is supplying its drivetrain technology to Yaxing Motor Coach for integration into a fleet of city buses to be delivered in March of this year.

The company’s EDI PowerDrive 6000 PHEV drivetrain system surpassed one million miles in a commercial fleet setting in late 2016. Utilized for a mass transportation application, EDI PowerDrive 6000, certified by the China government, delivered full OEM performance with more than 40% improvement in fuel economy and emissions reductions as the system was deployed in the field to perform standard bus routes in place of its conventional diesel fuel counterpart.

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GM expands B20 biodiesel lineup with new cars, crossovers and trucks

January 18, 2017

General Motors is expanding its portfolio of B20-capable vehicles to include cars and crossovers, and will field the industry’s most expansive lineup of diesel-powered vehicles in 2017, John Schwegman, director of commercial product and medium duty for GM Fleet, announced at the National Biodiesel Conference.

Chevrolet offers the industry’s broadest lineup of B20-capable diesel propulsion for fleet, commercial and retail customers, including: Express full-size vans; Silverado HD full-size pickups; the Colorado mid-size pickup; the Low Cab Forward commercial truck; the 2017 Cruze compact car and the 2018 Equinox compact crossover.

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Renault introduces two new electric light commercial vehicles

January 14, 2017

At the Brussels Motorshow in Belgium, Renault Pro+ introduced two new electric light commercial vehicles—New Kangoo Z.E. and Master Z.E.—to its line-up, bringing the total to four. The company is also expanding its range of connected services for commercial customers as well as its specialist network.

New Kangoo Z.E. features a new battery, new engine, new charger, new innovative connected services, and a heat pump in the air conditioning system. New Kangoo Z.E. is equipped with a new “Z.E.33” battery (33 kWh) and also gains a new motor developing 60 hp and based on the ZOE R75/90 motor. It is built in France at the Renault Cléon plant.

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New Flyer zero-emission bus deliveries increased by 48% to 213 EUs in 2016

January 12, 2017

Deliveries of New Flyer of America zero-emission buses (ZEBs) in 2016 reached their highest level in company history, delivering 213 equivalent units (EUs) in 2016. (One equivalent unit represents one 30-foot, 35-foot or 40-foot heavy-duty transit bus or one motor coach. One articulated transit bus represents two equivalent units.) This represented an increase of 48% from 144 ZEB EU’s delivered in 2015, and is represents 8.3% of New Flyer’s total heavy-duty transit bus production in 2016.

New Flyer manufactures all three current types of ZEBs, including: battery-electric, trolley-electric, and hydrogen fuel cell electric buses. This design and manufacturing capability allows transit authorities the ability to optimize charging method, infrastructure and range capability for their specific needs.

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BYD the recommended company for Argentinian tender for 50 electric buses

BYD has been officially selected as the recommended company by the evaluation committee in Argentina for the purchase of 50 electric buses on behalf of the Ministry of Environment.

The tender was launched by the Ministry of Environment as a pilot project for the introduction of electric public transport in different cities throughout the country. The bid evaluation committee chose BYD amongst a pool of 5 bidders for its successful 12-meter electric bus, which is already used in cities such as London, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, etc.

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Scania leading full-scale autonomous truck platoon project in Singapore; 4-truck convoys

January 11, 2017

Scania will design the world’s first full-scale autonomous truck platooning operations, based on its own advanced technology. The platoon will traffic public roads while transporting containers between port terminals in Singapore. The aim is to organize convoys of four trucks—with the following three trucks behind the lead truck autonomously driven, as well as to fully automate the processes for precise docking and undocking of cargo.

The multi-year project is organized by the Ministry of Transport and the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA Corporation). Toyota is also participating in this project.

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King County Metro Transit to purchase 120 battery-electric buses by 2020, 73 from Proterra

King County, Washington, Executive Dow Constantine announced that King County Metro Transit will acquire 120 battery-electric buses by 2020. As part of this commitment, Metro will purchase up to 73 battery buses from Burlingame, Calif.-based Proterra. The first 20 are scheduled to go into service this year and 2019. Metro serves Seattle and the rest of King County.

Eight of the buses are slated to go into service this year; 12 more in 2019. Up to eight of the new 40-foot battery buses will likely operate on Metro Routes 226 and 241 in Bellevue. As part of a pilot project last year, Metro began running three all-electric buses on these routes, which serve some of the county’s densest job centers, including the Microsoft campus and downtown Bellevue.

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Ballard-powered fuel cell electric buses exceed 10M km of revenue service

January 04, 2017

Ballard Power Systems fuel cells have powered buses for more than 10 million cumulative kilometers (6.2 million miles) of revenue service. This fuel cell industry milestone has been achieved across the company’s seven generations of its FCveloCity fuel cell engine, which have been deployed in buses in 15 countries on 5 continents during the past 10 years.

Over this period Ballard has worked with 13 bus manufacturers to develop a variety of fuel cell bus configurations that have been deployed in a wide range of climatic conditions and operated under a host of demanding duty cycles.

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Electric bus wins: BYD in Nottingham, Irizar in Bilbao

December 23, 2016

Thirteen new electric buses have been added to Nottingham’s existing fleet of 45 electric vehicles, turning another two park and ride services into fully zero emission services. The Chinese-built BYD eBuses will run on the CentreLink and EcoLink routes which have been designed to cut the amount of traffic entering the city centre.

The current fleet of 45 Yorkshire-built Optare electric buses have saved more than £300,000 (US$370K) in fuel savings and an estimated 1,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases since their introduction in 2012. The investment in these zero emission buses is a part of Nottingham’s bid to reduce both greenhouse gases and improve air quality. With an expected Clean Air Zone to be in place by 2020, they are an essential part of the local authority’s anti-pollution strategy.

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ABB delivers OppCharge fast charger for electric hybrid buses to Bertrange, Luxembourg

December 21, 2016

ABB has inaugurated the first OppCharge fast-charging station for electric buses in Benelux, in the commuter belt town of Bertrange, Luxembourg. The fast charger, with associated electrical systems, is based on OppCharge, an open interface for DC electric bus charging using pole-mounted pantographs, as opposed to putting the pantograph on the vehicle’s roof. (The vehicle-mounted OppCharge connector rails weight about 2kg, compared to the 70-200 kg with a roof-mounted pantograph.)

The project has been delivered with ABB fast charging infrastructure and substation to the local authority MDDI Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure; with the support of the national road administration of Luxembourg (Administration des Ponts et Chausseés). Bus operator Sales-Lentz will use the charger to recharge electric hybrid buses from Volvo.

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Proton OnSite to supply 13 MW-scale electrolyzers to provide hydrogen for fuel cell bus fueling in China

December 20, 2016

Proton OnSite signed a contract with Guangdong Synergy Hydrogen Power Technology Co., Ltd. to provide megawatt-scale Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyzers for the deployment of fuel cell-powered buses in the cities of Foshan and Yunfu, China.

Three of the megawatt systems will ship this summer, and an additional ten systems are planned to ship over the next 18 months, with the opportunity for significant recurring systems to follow. The agreement names Proton as the exclusive supplier of electrolyzers to Synergy and opens discussions for a joint venture to manufacture a portion of Proton’s M Series electrolyzers in Foshan exclusively for the fueling market in China.

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XL Hybrids expanding product line-up with new plug-in hybrid system for pick-ups; product launch in Q4 2017

December 15, 2016

XL Hybrids is introducing a new product line, the XLP plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) upfit solution. The XLP will be an industry-first fleet-ready solution offered as a ship-thru upfit on half-ton pickup trucks from leading OEMs, and is targeted to provide a 50% improvement in miles driven per gallon for major fleets across the United States, as well as significant reductions in CO2 emissions. XLP ship-thru deliveries to fleet customers will begin in the fourth quarter of 2017, said Clay Siegert, XL Hybrids’ co-founder and chief operating officer.

Utility and municipal fleets including San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Liberty Utilities, Hawaiian Electric Company and Montgomery County Maryland, which is headed by a recent public sector fleet manager of the year William Griffiths, are among the North American customers that intend to purchase the XLP PHEV system for use in their pickup fleets. SDG&E, as one example, signed a memorandum of understanding to purchase up to 110 of the plug-in electric hybrid truck systems between 2017 and 2020 to upgrade SDG&E’s fleet vehicles.

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London to phase out diesel buses; all new single deckers for central London to be zero emission

December 13, 2016

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan recently committed to phasing out purchasing new pure diesel buses from the capital. No more pure diesel double-deck buses will be added to the capital’s fleet from 2018 and all new single-decks for central London will be zero-emission. The Mayor made the announcement along with unveiling the first double-decker hydrogen bus, manufactured by the Wrights Group. (Earlier post.)

London has committed to procuring roughly 300 zero emission buses by 2020, with 51 battery electric buses recently going into service on the 507/521 route, taking the number of completely electric bus routes to three, with 79 zero emission buses in total in the fleet.

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San Diego MTS deploys 77 propane buses; Ford F-550 and E-450 chassis with ROUSH fuel systems

December 08, 2016

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) rolled out its new fleet of 77 buses fueled by propane autogas. The alternatively fueled buses will help the agency reduce its operating costs, and will reduce emissions by 2 million pounds per year.

MTS purchased 31 minibuses and 46 paratransit buses fueled by propane. The minibuses are built on the Ford F-550 chassis and the paratransit buses are built on the Ford E-450 chassis. Each model features a Ford 6.8L V10 engine with a ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel system. The ROUSH CleanTech liquid propane autogas fuel system consists of four major subsystems which include the fuel rail assembly; fuel line assembly; fuel tank assembly; and the powertrain control system.

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Nikola Motor unveils prototype Class 8 fuel cell range-extended electric truck, plans for H2 fueling network

December 06, 2016

At an event at its Salt Lake City headquarters last week, startup Nikola Motor Company (NMC) unveiled the first public prototype of its Nikola One Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell range-extended electric truck, as well as renderings of the Nikola Two Class 8 day cab version. The company also announced its plan for a network of 364 hydrogen fueling stations across the US and Canada (Nikola is bundling fuel with the truck), and unveiled a 107 kWh battery pack for the Nikola Zero UTV along with a business plan to sell packs to OEMs.

The Nikola One utilizes a fully electric drivetrain featuring a 320 kWh Li-ion battery pack (32,000 cells) and a nearly 300 kW fuel cell stack powering a 6x4 four-wheel electric drive (four 800V AC motors) with torque vectoring. Delivering more than 1,000 hp (746 kW) and 2,000 lb-ft of torque, the Nikola One will have an expected range of 800-1,200 miles, the company said.

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CNG Fuels launches renewable biomethane in UK; heavy-duty fleet operators committing to use

December 04, 2016

In the UK, CNG Fuels launched its renewable biomethane fuel, the most cost-effective and lowest-carbon alternative to diesel for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). The fuel is 35%-40% cheaper than diesel, and emits 70% less CO2 on a well-to-wheel basis. It therefore offers fleet operators the chance to significantly reduce running costs and emissions. Retailers Waitrose, John Lewis and Argos, as well as hauler Brit European, have already committed to using the new biomethane fuel for their long-distance articulated trucks.

CNG Fuels is the UK’s leading supplier of CNG (compressed natural gas) fuel, and it is now sourcing its entire supply from biomethane. The biomethane is made from the gas harvested through the processing of waste generated by food production, which is then injected directly into gas pipelines. The gas is subsequently compressed at CNG Fuels’ own high-capacity refueling stations in Leyland (Lancashire) and Crewe (Cheshire).

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US FTA to award up to $2.75M for zero-emissions public transportation tech

December 01, 2016

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced the availability of $2.75 million of funding for its Zero Emission Research Opportunity (ZERO) (FTA-2017-001-TRI). The ZERO program is to facilitate the advancement, production, and deployment of zero-emission public transportation vehicle technology and related infrastructure.

FTA intends to select, and enter into cooperative agreements with, multiple (up to three) nonprofit consortia to build on past research innovation and development efforts to facilitate the deployment of zero-emission vehicles and associated advanced technology. Eligibility for future ZERO funding opportunities in fiscal years 2017-2020 will be limited to those nonprofit consortia selected under this fiscal year 2017 notice.

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NREL report finds hydrogen fuel cell bus fuel economy up to 1.4x that of diesel, 1.9x CNG

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Fuel Cell Technology Office (FCTO) has released the latest edition of an annual report showing that the average fuel economy of fuel cell electric buses from three fleets is 6.8 miles per diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) (ranging from 5.56 - 7.71 DGE), 1.4 times higher than conventional diesel buses (~4.2 miles per DGE) from one fleet and up to 1.9 times higher than compressed natural gas buses (~3.3 miles per DGE) in another fleet.

This demonstrates significant fuel economy improvement toward the DOE and Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) target of 8 miles per DGE. FCEB durability has reached 23,000 hours, surpassing FCTO’s 2016 target of 18,000 hours, and range has reached up to 340 miles (547 km), more than 13% above the 2016 target of 300 miles (483 km).

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Ballard signs fuel cell supply agreement with Solaris; initial order of 10 modules as range extenders for electric trolley buses

November 30, 2016

Ballard Power Systems has signed a Long-Term Sales Agreement (LTSA) with Solaris Bus & Coach, a bus OEM headquartered in Poland, for the sale and supply of fuel cell modules to support deployment of Solaris fuel cell buses in Europe. An initial order placed under the LTSA is for 10 FCveloCity-HD fuel cell modules, with deliveries planned to start in 2017.

Each 85 kilowatt FCveloCity-HD fuel cell module that has been ordered will be deployed as a range extender in a Solaris Trollino model low-floor trolley bus. Solaris has signed a contract with Rigas Satiksme, the transport operator in the city of Riga, Latvia for 10 of the Trollino trolley buses.

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London transport operator Go-Ahead adds two Irizar electric i2e buses to fleet after successful operating results

November 29, 2016

Based on the success of two Irizar 100% i2e electric buses that have been operating in London since June 2015, London’s largest transport operator, Go-Ahead, is incorporating the buses into its fleet and has signed an agreement with Irizar that includes service and maintenance.

For over a year, these two buses have been operating on the busy routes 507, connecting Waterloo Station with Victoria Station, and 521, which connect Waterloo Station with London Bridge Station. The operating data has successfully fulfilled the objectives requested. With this change, both buses will begin to operate for longer periods on the 108 route which runs from Stratford International Station to Lewisham Station with different operating conditions. In addition, Irizar will offer comprehensive maintenance of the buses.

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Chevrolet and GMC expand alternative fuel fleet offerings; expanded CNG/LPG lineup

November 22, 2016

Chevrolet and GMC are partnering with Power Solutions International, Inc. (PSI) to introduce heavy-duty pickups and full-size vans powered by 6.0-liter V-8 compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)-capable engines starting in the first quarter of 2017. Chevrolet also will offer CNG and LPG versions of its new Low Cab Forward commercial truck.

The announcement follows the selection of PSI, based in Wood Dale, Illinois, as General Motors Fleet’s preferred upfitter for CNG and LPG trucks. PSI is one of North America’s largest and most experienced providers of integrated turn-key, alternative-fuel powertrain solutions.

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Big Blue Bus receives nearly $900K to purchase 58 new Cummins-Westport Near-Zero NOx engines

In California, Big Blue Bus (BBB) will receive $870,000 from the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee’s (MSRC) Near Zero Engine Incentive Program. Big Blue Bus will use the grant approved by the MSRC partially to fund the purchase of 58 new Cummins-Westport 8.9L ISL G Near-Zero (NZ) 0.02 NOx engines. The NZ engine is the first mid-range engine in North America to receive emission certifications from both the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (ARB) meeting the 0.02 g/bhp-hr optional Near Zero NOx Emissions standards. (Earlier post.)

The new engines will be installed over a period of 3 to 4 years, at a rate of 12 to 18 buses per year.

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Orange EV approved to give up to $150K discount for electric terminal trucks with NY EV vouchers

November 13, 2016

Orange EV, a manufacturer of battery-electric heavy-duty trucks, announced that fleets in the state of New York can now save up to $150,000 per T-Series pure electric terminal truck (the 160 kWh model; the 80 kWh model is approved for a $123,960 voucher). Discounts are enabled by the New York State Electric Vehicle – Voucher Incentive Fund (NYSEV-VIF). Vouchers may be requested through December 31, 2016.

NYSEV-VIF has $9 million available in voucher incentives for all-electric battery vehicles. The vehicle must be domiciled (registered and garaged) and operate 70% of the time in one of New York State’s 30 counties currently in non-attainment.

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NXP and DAF Trucks commit to set new benchmark in truck platooning: 30x faster than human reaction time

November 08, 2016

NXP Semiconductors N.V. and DAF Trucks announced plans to empower truck platoons to react 30 times faster than humans in 2017, enabling a reduced distance between platooning trucks. Achieving this goal would mark a significant milestone in the introduction of platooning to fleet operators who expect considerable efficiency and safety gains while maintaining a maximum level of data security.

In Munich, NXP and its partners are showcasing the progress of secure intelligent transport systems in advance of this year’s electronica show. The demonstrations include platooning live on Munich roads, traffic signal and vehicle synchronization, and technology that protects vulnerable road users based on secure vehicle-to-everything technology (V2X). Platooning promises to increase fuel efficiency up to 10%, improve road safety and reduce exhaust emissions.

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Wrightspeed and the Ratto Group introduce range-extended electric refuse truck; 15 trucks over next 12 months

November 02, 2016

Wrightspeed, the leading manufacturer of range-extended electric vehicle (REV) powertrains for heavy-duty applications, and The Ratto Group, a Santa Rosa, California-based refuse, yard waste and recycling collection and processing company, unveiled the first commercial application of a range-extended electric refuse truck. Ratto and Wrightspeed will roll out 15 Route-equipped trucks—retrofits of trucks in Ratto’s fleet—over the next 12 months to meet community needs.

With the support of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, communities in Sonoma and surrounding counties will be serviced by a fleet of clean, quiet trucks from The Ratto Group, powered by Wrightspeed’s range-extended powertrain, The Route. (Earlier post.) Designed to deliver economic, environmental and performance benefits in both OEM-installed new vehicles and existing fleet retrofits, The Route is a scalable solution that has been recognized by The State of California for its ability to help meet progressive climate and air quality mandates. Wrightspeed was awarded $7 million in grants by the California Energy Commission to further develop the technology for broad-based adoption.

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UPS adding 200 more series hybrid delivery trucks

October 11, 2016

UPS will add 200 new series hybrid electric delivery trucks to the company’s growing alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet. The vehicles have the same 650cc 2-cylinder engine and E-GEN chassis as the 125 vehicles UPS announced earlier this year. (Earlier post.)

Equipped with lithium ion batteries and a range-extender engine, these trucks will deliver significant fuel economy equivalency gains, approximately four times the fuel economy of a gasoline powered vehicle. A cloud-based, real time telematics performance monitoring system provides feedback for energy monitoring and route efficiency.

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UPS places 50 advanced hydraulic hybrids in its fleet in time for holiday rush

September 30, 2016

United Parcel Service, Inc., the world’s largest package delivery company and a provider of supply chain management solutions, placed 50 Lightning Hybrids hydraulic hybrid delivery trucks in the Chicago metro area. The hybrid systems were partially funded by Drive Clean Chicago, a program that aims to accelerate the adoption of alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure in Chicago.

The first of the hydraulic hybrid systems were commissioned last week. The hybrid systems are converting Freightliner MT-55s with gasoline engines into cleaner and more fuel efficient delivery trucks and will reduce harmful emissions in Chicago as soon as they are deployed.

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Volkswagen Truck & Bus launches RIO: open cloud-based platform for transportation industry digitization

September 21, 2016

At the IAA Commercial Vehicles 2016 show in Hanover, Volkswagen Truck & Bus is presenting itself to the public for the first time as a group of strong brands: MAN, Scania, Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

In addition to numerous new products, Volkswagen Truck & Bus is emphasizing alternative drives and connected commercial vehicles. In addition to electromobility for commercial vehicles—from the Volkswagen e-load up! to MAN’s heavy-duty distribution eTruck—Volkswagen Truck & Bus is launching RIO—a new brand bundling digital solutions for transportation & logistics into a cloud-based open platform that can serve as the “operating system” for the entire transportation industry.

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