Motor Coach Industries (MCI) has been awarded a contract by Houston METRO to provide 52 diesel-electric hybrid coaches, with options for a total of 142 units to be delivered to the transit agency.
|The MCI hybrid.|
MCI was the first intercity coach manufacturer to launch a public-sector commuter hybrid electric-diesel coach in 2002, and its coaches for Houston METRO will introduce hybrid technology that offers even lower emissions and greater fuel efficiency.
Five years ago, MCI delivered four D4000 (40-foot) prototype hybrid commuter coaches to New Jersey Transit. Still in operation, those coaches use MCI’s first-generation hybrid components with a Cummins/ISL engine and an Allison EP 50 electric-drive hybrid propulsion system.
MCI’s next-generation diesel-electric hybrids feature the company’s new-look D4500 (45-foot) model and use the latest low-emission clean-diesel engine technology from Cummins along with the Allison propulsion system. The engine and an advanced electric power management system offers performance that is comparable to a large diesel engine, but with improved fuel economy and reduced carbon emissions.
To further fuel conservation, Houston METRO’s new MCI coaches will also use shore power at the depot to activate the AC unit and cool the passenger cabin prior to departure, eliminating the reliance on engine idling.