New Flyer of America Inc., the US subsidiary of New Flyer Industries Inc. (NFI Group), the largest transit bus and motor coach manufacturer and parts distributor in North America, announced that its Anniston, Alabama facility has successfully completed its first full build of an Xcelsior CHARGE battery-electric heavy-duty transit bus.
The Anniston facility now joins all other New Flyer locations with capability to manufacture the Xcelsior CHARGE battery-electric bus, including Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Crookston and St. Cloud, Minnesota. New Flyer’s Anniston facility is also home to the Vehicle Innovation Center, opened in October 2017 and dedicated to advancing bus and coach technology, specifically in electric and autonomous propulsions. It is the first and only innovation lab of its kind in North America.
The Xcelsior CHARGE, New Flyer’s next-generation battery-electric bus, debuted at the triennial American Public Transportation Association (APTA) EXPO in October 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. It features the proven Xcelsior transit bus platform with enhancements of extended range batteries (made with US-based technology and manufacturing), industry-leading hill climbing ability, the highest passenger load carrying capacity, and ability to recharge with interoperable equipment available from globally recognized charging system suppliers.
The Xcelsior CHARGE is available in 35, 40, and 60-foot bus rapid transit articulated models.
Following the September announcement of a US$25-million investment in renovations and expansions at the Anniston facility, and subsequent groundbreaking event commemorated by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, New Flyer opened its Vehicle Innovation Center onsite in October 2017 to mark its evolution in and commitment to battery-electric bus manufacturing in Anniston, Alabama.
The New Flyer Anniston facility (formerly North American Bus Industries), was acquired by New Flyer in 2013 and consists of five buildings that manufacture transit buses from part fabrication, to high-strength frame welding, to final assembly. In 2015, New Flyer invested US$20 million to transform the campus to a world-class LEAN manufacturing site capable of producing New Flyer’s Xcelsior heavy-duty bus platform.
New Flyer currently employs 610 people in Alabama, and is expected to add approximately 60 people to the Anniston team in 2018. The NFI Group has more than 50 years of experience in manufacturing zero-emission buses (ZEBs), and employs more American workers than any other US bus manufacturer.