This week, GILLIG, in a partnership with Cummins, unveiled its new 40-foot battery electric buses at an event at GILLIG’s headquarters in Livermore, California.
The buses feature a direct-drive traction motor with peak torque of 3500 Nm (2,582 lbs.-ft), and utilize energy recovered from a regenerative braking system. A package of e-accessories will be powered through various convertors, with the initial bus deployment utilizing plug-in charging. GILLIG officials added that inductive and conductive charging capabilities will also be available shortly.
The bus is designed on GILLIG’s proven Low Floor bus platform, which ensures parts and training commonality with existing GILLIG fleets. Since it incorporates the Cummins electrified powertrain, the bus provides transit agencies with the advantage of accessing full local service support with hundreds of Cummins service centers throughout the country to provide the necessary training, warranty administration, and aftermarket parts for the electrified power system.
Both GILLIG’s Joe Policarpio, VP, Sales and Marketing, and President and CEO Derek Maunus said the battery electric bus was about four years in the making. They stressed that its development reflects the company’s values to offer products only when GILLIG is able to stand behind them, while continuing to forge strong relationships with its transit agency partners.
“We’re not always first to market, because we feel it is more important to get it right before we unveil a new product,” Maunus told the crowd.
The GILLIG battery electric bus will have a battery capacity of 444 kWh, with company officials expecting a real-world range of 150 miles based on an energy usage of 2.3 kWh per mile; GILLIG noted that they could claim 210 miles at the industry-advertised 1.7 kWh per mile, but that is not a realistic transit operation energy usage. The bus is also built to SAE, UNECE, and CharIN standards.
Company officials also said that GILLIG is partnering with ChargePoint to provide the bus charging infrastructure.
GILLIG is set to begin production in May 2020, with the initial fleet of buses set to be delivered to transit agencies that have recently been awarded FTA Low-No Grants.
In the meantime, the company has several vehicles undergoing various tests, with one touring the U.S. throughout the next year and one set to soon be delivered to Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus.