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Toronto Transit Commission Orders 150 Series Hybrid Buses

Agency Will Operate Largest Hybrid Electric Fleet in Canada

TORONTO — The Toronto Transit Commission has ordered 330 transit buses from Orion Bus Industries, including 150 hybrid electric models. The diesel-electric 40-foot buses, similar to a large and growing fleet of hybrid buses in service in New York City, promise significant emissions reductions and fuel savings compared to standard diesel buses, and also outperform conventionally powered vehicles.

Mississauga, Ontario-based Orion Bus Industries, along with partner BAE Systems, producer of the HybriDrive(tm) series hybrid propulsion system, will deliver the hybrid buses in 2006. These buses will be TTC’s first hybrid models and will give Toronto the largest hybrid electric fleet in Canada.

Compared to diesel propulsion, the hybrid units will provide 25 percent to 35 percent better fuel economy while greatly reducing emissions: 90 percent less particulate matter, 40 percent less NOx, and 30 percent fewer greenhouse gases. Drivers will enjoy faster acceleration and customers will experience a quieter, smoother ride free of the frequent transmission shifts encountered in conventional buses.

“Orion Bus Industries is proud to provide the latest and most efficient clean-vehicle technology to the Toronto Transit Commission and to the people of Toronto,” said Mark Brager, Orion’s vice president of sales. “Series hybrid offers the best available combination of fuel savings and emissions reductions, and also reduces maintenance costs by extending brake life and eliminating the transmission.”

At the heart of the Orion VII hybrid bus is the HybriDrive(tm) propulsion system provided by BAE Systems. The system propels the bus with a single electric motor that is powered by a diesel-driven generator and an energy storage unit. Among the system’s benefits:

  • The engine — the same model used in some pickup trucks — is smaller than that used in conventional buses and runs at optimum speed for clean operation and efficiency.
  • The design offers quicker acceleration, helping drivers more easily merge into heavy traffic.
  • Customers experience a quieter ride than on a conventional diesel bus.
  • The system design eliminates the transmission, removing a major maintenance item on vehicles operated in heavy stop-and-go conditions and eliminating the jarring shift points common among conventionally propelled buses.
  • A regenerative braking system uses the drive motor to slow the bus, effectively turning the motor into a generator to help recharge the energy storage system. This feature saves energy and significantly reduces brake wear, reducing the frequency and cost of brake maintenance.

New York City’s transit authority currently operates more than 150 Orion VII hybrid buses and is building a fleet that will total 325 units by the end of 2005. That fleet has accumulated more than 2 million miles of revenue service.

“Our hybrid propulsion technology combines cleaner emissions and reduced fuel consumption,” said Hank McGlynn, vice president of Power Systems for BAE Systems. “This is a powerful combination for transit agencies seeking to both reduce fleet emissions and combat the escalating cost of diesel fuel.”