UTA and the University of Utah received a $5.4-million Low-No grant from the US Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to purchase five New Flyer battery-electric buses. (Earlier post.) Three of these will be used on route 2 in Salt Lake City and two that will serve the University of Utah campus (also in Salt Lake City).
Each all-electric bus in service with UTA will save the equivalent of 6,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year. For the three electric buses UTA will be operating on route 2, that’s a savings of approximately 175 metric tons of gas emissions per year. New Flyer has focused its electrification development on its Xcelsior platform, which also offers diesel, CNG, electric trolley, hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell variants. (Earlier post.)
The NMC Li-ion battery pack in the electric Xcelsior stores up to 300 kWh, powering a 160 kW Siemens electric drive system. When braking, the motor acts as a generator to recover energy.
The air compressor and air conditioning compressors are electrically powered. DC power is converted to AC power and is supplied to each of these major systems separately. This allows each system to operate more reliably and efficiently, with minimum power consumption. The bus also as a converter to supply 24-volt DC power for power steering, interior fans, lights, and other accessories. Vanner provides the DC/DC converter.
An electrically-driven air conditioning system is used to cool the bus when needed. For moderately cold temperatures, the bus uses electric heating. For very cold conditions, an optional liquid fuel heater warms the passenger cabin using a small amount of renewable bio-diesel. This helps maintain bus range during very cold climate conditions.
In 2013, UTA began acquiring compressed natural gas (CNG) buses with the potential to expand the CNG eet to more than 100 buses in the near future. Currently, the UTA bus fleet mix is approximately 45% pre-2006 diesel, 42% clean diesel, 7% CNG and 6% hybrid-electric.
California ARB Draft Technology Assessment: Medium- And Heavy- Duty Battery Electric Trucks And Buses
Altoona test report, New Flyer XE40