|The CNG hybrid bus.|
The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) has launched its first commercial bus with a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) hybrid-electric drive system (CNG Hybrid Drive System). ISE Corporation (ISE) developed and supplied the system, a variant of its ThunderVolt gasoline hybrid drive, and integrated it into a standard 40-foot transit bus supplied by MTS.
The $1-million CNG hybrid prototype bus will further cut emissions and fuel consumption of the CNG buses in the MTS fleet, providing more power and a quieter ride. Funding for the program was provided by grants from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), San Diego Air Pollution Control District (APCD), and the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
This new technology is important to California transit agencies that have invested heavily in CNG infrastructure and are seeking even more efficient power drives. The CNG-electric hybrid technology represents the next step forward in our commitment to a healthier environment.—San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts, who also represents San Diego on the boards of directors of MTS, APCD and CARB
The CNG Hybrid Drive System features a Cummins ISB Gas Plus engine, a Siemens 165 kW electrical generator, two Siemens duo inverters, two Siemens 85 kW drive motors and Cobasys-developed NiMH batteries. MTS provided a New Flyer bus for the program and New Flyer assisted ISE in the modification of the bus chassis.
The addition of the new CNG hybrid bus to the MTS fleet comes in conjunction with the recently authorized MTS purchase of up to twenty 35-foot gasoline hybrid buses for delivery this fall, and up to 250 40-foot conventional CNG powered buses or gasoline hybrid powered buses over the next five years. The new order of buses will be the biggest procurement order in the history of MTS.
Currently MTS maintains and operates 476 buses of which 75% are CNG. The new CNG hybrid bus and the new bus procurement will align MTS with its stated goal of converting its entire fleet to CNG or hybrid technology within the next 6 years.
The CNG hybrid bus will travel all over the MTS network, providing commuters the opportunity to experience the new technology.