BAE Systems will provide propulsion systems for up to 500 hybrid-electric buses recently ordered by King County Metro Transit.
The company will supply its HybriDrive propulsion system to Daimler Buses North America, which received an order from the Seattle transit agency for 500 Orion VII hybrid-electric buses, with an option for 200 additional units. The base, first-year order is for 93 hybrid units.
The King County buses will be equipped with BAE Systems’ lithium-ion energy storage system, which offers longer life than other battery technologies and reduces vehicle weight for improved fuel economy and lower emissions. HybriDrive technology currently powers more than 2,000 buses in cities across North America and the U.K.
The HybriDrive system consists of a generator, an electric motor and an energy storage system managed by computerized controls. A diesel engine that turns the generator operates independent of the electric-drive motor, allowing it to run at nearly consistent speed for optimum efficiency. The system also uses no mechanical transmission, a major maintenance item on conventional diesel buses.