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Allison unveils compact electric propulsion solution for low-floor bus applications; partners with Alexander Dennis

Allison Transmission introduced the new ABE Series, the first e-axle advanced ultra-low floor electric bus powertrain system in the market, at the Advanced Clean Technology Expo in Long Beach, CA. The ABE Series e-axles are one of the world’s most powerful and compact fully integrated electric axles for the transit bus market, Allison says.


The ABE Series integrates dual electric motors, a single- or multi-speed gearbox (depending on e-axle model), oil coolers, pumps and power electronics into a bolt-in system that replaces the entire traditional powertrain within the existing frame. It meets the power and space demands of the transit bus industry, including heavy double-decker, articulated and 3-door buses.

The Allison ABE Series can operate without restrictions at regular highway speeds, and on all allowable grades. The system can handle 100% torque in regenerative braking. With an axle rating up to 28,660 pounds (13 tons), the system provides more power and torque than any other e-powertrain system in its class on the market.

With a dual motor, it has continuous axle output power of 536 hp (400 kW) and peak output power of 738 hp (550 kW). A single speed e-axle option also is available.

Its proprietary cooling allows for industry-best continuous motor power and allows the vehicle to run closer to peak power for longer durations.

The bolt-in ABE Series fits existing bus frames and suspensions, creating more space for battery packs and other critical electric vehicle components. The standard system is configured for a 28-inch (700-millimeter) walk through, but has an optional 39-inch (1,000-millimeter) configuration. This makes the system applicable for 12-meter low-floor city and double-decker buses, 18-meter articulated buses and 3-door buses.

Also at the Advanced Clean Technology Expo, Allison Transmission and Alexander Dennis announced they are working together to develop efficient, powerful electric buses.

A first step in this strategic alliance is Allison’s new ABE Series electric powertrain systems for low-floor bus applications, which will premiere with the Foothill Transit launch order for Alexander Dennis’ interurban and commuter Enviro500 3-axle double decker buses in North America.

The buses, which have the same footprint as a conventional single-decker bus, can carry up to 86 seated passengers, and provide superior handling and a quiet and smooth zero- emission ride.


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