New Flyer the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses in the US & Canada, announced the completion of testing of the Xcelsior XE40 electric bus in the Federal Transit Administration (“FTA”) Bus Test Program at Altoona, PA. This is commonly referred to as an “Altoona Test”.
Any new model vehicle used in United States in mass transportation revenue service and purchased with FTA funds must complete an Altoona Test. The primary focus of the test program is structural durability with additional evaluations including: safety, structural integrity, reliability, performance, maintainability, noise, and fuel economy.
“We are very proud of the XE40’s achieving this important milestone and its exceptional performance in all categories of the Altoona Test. Our engineers worked diligently to design and manufacture the most versatile zero-emission bus in the market. It is based on our proven Xcelsior platform that has accumulated several hundred million miles of safe and reliable service since its introduction in 2008,” said Paul Soubry, President and Chief Executive Officer of New Flyer. Soubry added, “The XE40 performed superbly and clearly distinguished itself against other battery-electric buses achieving over 20 miles per gallon diesel equivalent fuel economy, with the greatest gross vehicle weight rating available. This equates to the highest passenger carrying capability of any electric bus in North America. The interior noise measurements during acceleration from 0 to 35 mph also proved to be best-in-class for an all-electric bus. Our research indicates the Xcelsior XE40 is the quietest transit bus ever tested with the FTA’s standardized test protocol”.
Chris Stoddart, New Flyer’s Vice President of Engineering and Service commented, “We knew integrating the batteryelectric bus on the proven Xcelsior platform using experienced component and systems suppliers, was essential to provide transit agencies the opportunity to enhance their in-service uptime. The integration of the Siemens ELFA drive motor and lithium-ion battery packs from XALT Energy into the XE40 resulted in outstanding performance and we experienced no propulsion or battery issues throughout the entire test program. Unscheduled repair labor hours for the Xcelsior XE40 were significantly lower than any other electric buses tested at Altoona”.
Transit agencies throughout North America have been eager, while at the same time uncertain of the reliability, maintainability and range of adding zero-emission battery-electric buses to their clean diesel, diesel-hybrid, and compressed natural gas bus fleets. With successful completion of the Altoona Test, New Flyer can provide operators with objective data indicating the XE40 battery-electric bus is built to rely on, day in and day out. The XE40 is now registered in the Zero-Emission Bus Voucher Incentive Program, including in California, to encourage the market introduction of electric buses. As with all New Flyer buses, customers can count on the industry’s most comprehensive after-sales Parts and Service organization to support their zero-emissions buses throughout their entire life. New Flyer is preparing to return to the Altoona Test Facility in early 2016 with an Xcelsior 60-foot articulated batteryelectric bus. Building upon New Flyer’s extensive technical expertise and bus building experience, the articulated zero-emission bus will include a range extending hydrogen fuel cell.