Azure Dynamics Formalizes Contract with StarTrans for First Commercially-Produced Hybrid Shuttle Bus
|The new hybrid shuttles will use the HD Senator bus body, shown here in a conventional application.|
Azure Dynamics has signed a definitive supply agreement for the production of hybrid shuttle buses with StarTrans, a business division of Supreme Corporation and a leading commercial bus manufacturer in North America. The Companies had previously announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) (Earlier post.)
This will mark the first commercially-produced hybrid-electric shuttle bus.
Under terms of the agreement, Azure will provide StarTrans with hybrid cab-chassis on which StarTrans will assemble their shuttle bus body at their manufacturing facilities in Goshen, Indiana. StarTrans intends to utilize its HD Senator Series model line of shuttle buses.
Our supply agreement with StarTrans represents a significant milestone for Azure Dynamics as we focus on increasing our penetration in the North American shuttle bus market. More than 10,000 shuttle buses are sold each year in North America and with federal and state funded subsidization programs available in the US for shuttle bus operators that adopt environmentally cleaner hybrid solutions, this sector represents a compelling opportunity for both Azure and StarTrans.—Campbell Deacon, CEO of Azure Dynamics
Azure’s hybrid shuttle bus cab-chassis utilizes the same G1 series-hybrid delivery truck chassis currently in production and integrates Azure’s newly developed shuttle bus cab.
The current series-hybrid chassis—as applied in Azure’s Citibus shuttle model—uses a 4.8-liter gasoline-fueled GM Vortec engine as the genset combined with a 110 kW induction motor and a NiMH battery pack. The Citibus shuttle has a top speed of 65 mph, and an all-electric range of 1.5 miles.
In testing, Azure’s hybrid delivery vans demonstrated nearly a 50% reduction in fuel consumption on a mile per gallon basis in city driving, compared to conventional chassis. Azure’s hybrid chassis also significantly reduce vehicular emissions, achieving reductions in hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emissions of up to 83%, 91% and 53% respectively.
Azure and StarTrans plan to jointly market the hybrid shuttle bus via the StarTrans dealer and distributor network. The two will commence jointly marketing the new hybrid shuttle bus at Bus-Con in Chicago in October 23-25th.
StarTrans markets 32 models of transit and tour buses, with passenger capacities ranging from seven up to 42 and offers various wheelchair placements.