Daimler Buses North America announced that sales for the Orion VII diesel-electric hybrid bus have surpassed 3,000 units, with more than 2,200 units already in service and an additional 850 firm orders in backlog from cities including New York, Seattle and Houston.
Houston Metro is placing an additional order for 80 Orion VII diesel-electric hybrid buses for 2010 delivery. This compliments its existing fleet of 56 Orion VII hybrids, which were delivered in 2008, and the 40 units that will be delivered in 2009. Another long-term customer Puerto Rico is transitioning into hybrid buses for its existing fleet of conventional diesel Orion transit buses with an order of 40 Orion VII diesel-electric hybrid buses. These will be produced and delivered in 2010.
"We are obviously pleased to be the first manufacturer of hybrid buses to reach the 3,000 unit mark, but we will not rest on our laurels," said Dr. Andreas Strecker, president/CEO of Daimler Buses North America. "And as quickly as technology advances, it is very important for Daimler Buses to remain ahead of the curve in this industry."
In 2008, Daimler introduced lithium-ion energy storage technology for buses in volume production. This development has reduced the weight of the overall bus and thereby further improving fuel economy. Daimler Buses is already developing and testing further refinements in its hybrid system that will be introduced in 2010. These technological advancements will offer even greater benefits to our customers and passengers, according to the company.