New Flyer has introduced the next generation of its battery-electric heavy duty transit bus: the Xcelsior CHARGE.
With a focus on advancing bus technology in North America, New Flyer first revealed its battery-electric Xcelsior design in 2011, unveiled a prototype in 2012, and delivered the first bus in 2014. Over the past five years, New Flyer conducted intensive research, development and testing to improve the design, performance, and technological advancement of the battery-electric Xcelsior bus, which is now introduced as the Xcelsior CHARGE available in 35, 40, and 60-foot articulated bus rapid transit models.
The Xcelsior CHARGE builds on the industry leading Xcelsior transit bus platform, with extended range battery technology made in America, electric motors with efficient regenerative energy recovery, the highest torque available for steep grade cities such as San Francisco and Seattle, and charging infrastructure compliant with industry standards.
Passengers on the battery-electric Xcelsior CHARGE will experience the quietest and most accessible transit bus ride available, with improved step height, expanded front door width, the best entry ramp ratio (1:7) in the industry for passengers with mobility assist devices, and best-in-class passenger carrying capacity (up to 83 passengers – seated and standing). All accomplished by optimized battery placements to comply with maximum gross axle and gross vehicle legal weight limits.
The Xcelsior CHARGE extended range configurations allow for up to 600 kWh battery capacity obtaining realistic transit ranges of over 200 miles on single charge based on Federal Transit Administration test protocol.
In a related news, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA or LA Metro) has awarded New Flyer of America a contract for up to 100 Xcelsior battery-electric, zero-emission, 60-foot heavy-duty transit buses. The contract includes 35 firm orders with options to purchase an additional 65 buses.
The Xcelsior CHARGE buses will be deployed on LA Metro’s technologically-advanced Orange Line. These buses offer up to US$400,000 in energy savings and up to US$125,000 in maintenance savings over a 12-year life span, and can travel up to 230 miles on a single charge (with a 480 kWh pack, based on FTA Altoona Test Protocol). When charged on-route, the Xcelsior CHARGE remains continuously operational to meet daily service requirements.
New Flyer has bus service, parts, and manufacturing support at three California facilities located in Ontario, Los Alamitos, and Fresno. LA Metro currently serves as the transportation planner, coordinator, designer, builder, and operator for more than 10 million people residing in a 4,000-square mile area. In 2017, it committed to all electric buses by 2030.
This new award, which includes the Xcelsior battery-electric buses and charging hardware, will add a total of 200 equivalent units to New Flyer’s backlog.