New Flyer begins testing of industry-first 60-foot electric bus
By Design Engineering staffGeneral Automotive Electric Vehicles
Bus maker’s all-electric XE60 features en-route fast charging and two-axel drive system.
Winnipeg-based New Flyer Industries’ U.S. subsidiary, New Flyer of America Inc., announced that it has begun testing the industry’s first 60-foot electric heavy-duty transit bus at the Federal Transit Administration’s proving grounds in Altoona, Pennsylvania.
New Flyer’s XE60 battery-electric bus, and its sister XHE60 hydrogen fuel cell bus, are both powered by Siemens electric motors with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and incorporate a two-axle drive system for added traction.
The XE60 version features either extended range batteries or en-route fast charging capability. The XHE60 model is a battery electric 60-foot articulated transit bus that incorporates a small hydrogen fuel cell operating as an on-board battery charger. Both the XE60 and XHE60 are built on the company’s Xcelsior platform, which has more than 8,000 buses in-service in North America.
“We’re very proud of our innovative leadership and collaboration working with world-class electric motor, fuel cell and battery suppliers on New Flyer’s innovative 60-foot electric bus family,” said Chris Stoddart, New Flyer VP of Engineering. “This program will validate our integration of advanced two-axle drive technology for adverse weather and road conditions. The testing also allows New Flyer to contribute in a significant role to the FTA’s National Fuel Cell bus program by demonstrating how advanced hydrogen fuel cells can be utilized to charge batteries on-board without using plug-in power from the utility grid, which typically requires several hours per day for complete re-charging and off-peak hours to avoid excessive power rates.”
New Flyer manufacturers electric buses in 35, 40 and 60-foot models. The company says the XE60 and XHE60 will be deployed initially at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (METRO) and the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit), respectively.