New Flyer’s Xcelsior XE40 battery electric, heavy-duty transit bus features the same platform as all its other Xcelsior products, including the air system, axles, wheels and tires, so customers get the same tried-and-true product with the added advantages of even more environmentally-friendly and cost-effective propulsion; an electronic instrument panel and LED headlights; and interior lighting, Thomas Small, director, new product development, New Flyer, says.
Another benefit to the XE40 is being able to use the same technicians that work on other Xcelsior vehicles.
Additionally, being an Xcelsior, the vehicle is inherently lighter as part of the model’s design.
New Flyer has a contract with Chicago Transit Authority for two XE40 buses and received funding for a few Winnipeg Transit buses.[PAGEBREAK]
Meanwhile, since 2007, DesignLine Corp.’s all-electric ECO Smart has evolved to become nearly all-recyclable and rechargeable from just about anywhere.
The ECO Smart is powered with economical sodium oxide batteries that can be recycled. Lithium is offered as an alternative. All vehicle components, with the exception of the electronics, can be recycled.
The bus is 100% emissions-free and can be plugged into a wall outlet to recharge, getting about 100 miles between charges.
“You don’t need proprietary infrastructure to charge,” Gordon Nevison, marketing consultant, DesignLine Corp., says. “You just have to have the right voltage.” (A 400 Volt AC 3Phase plus neutral ground 100 A Circuit is required).
The system is designed for an overnight charge, but users can get a partial charge within about 30 minutes.
Many transit systems use the buses in a downtown corridor, such as Baltimore’s Charm City Circulator, to which DesignLine has supplied 13 ECO Smart vehicles. The manufacturer has also provided six vehicles to Charlotte (N.C.) Douglas International Airport and just delivered its first ECO Smart all-electric to Quebec’s Societe Transport LaVal for a $2 million pilot project.
In production, the manufacturer has an order for seven 30-foot units for Societe Transport Montreal, which will be delivered in the third quarter of 2013.
The ECO Smart is available in 30-, 35- and 42-foot versions.