Orion Bus Industries, a division of DaimlerChrysler, has completed deliveries of its first 125 diesel-electric series hybrid buses for MTA New York City Transit and has begun delivering the next set of 200. By the end of 2005, MTA’s fleet of 4,215 vehicles will have 325 hybrid buses, or 7%.
This will be the world’s largest hybrid bus fleet, at least for the moment.
MTA also runs 481 CNG buses—11% of its fleet.
New York Transit began testing a pilot fleet of 10 Orion VI hybrids in 1998, and put the first production order of 125 Orion VII hybrids in service last year. The agency has built up close to two million miles of hybrid service, and is extremely pleased with the results.
Some of the highlights of the operating experiences to date include:
Brake life approximately doubled
NOx less than half that for a clean diesel or CNG bus
CO less than one fourth that for a clean diesel and roughly one tenth that for a CNG bus
Reduction in fuel consumption of approximately 40% compared to the standard diesel buses the hybrids replace. This equates to nearly 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel saved per year for each bus. (Baseline fuel economy for the standard MTA diesel is 2.3 mpg; on their different routes, the hybrids have delivered between 3.4 and 3.7 mpg.)
The Orion series hybrids use a propulsion system from BAE Systems.
The Orion VII buses with 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. (Earlier post.)
Separately, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. of the State of New York has ordered four Orion VII hybrid buses for use in its transit-bus fleet. The buses, with a similar configuration to those operated by New York City Transit, are scheduled for delivery in 2006.