Hybrid Buses in Seattle to be Powered by BAE Systems HybriDrive

BAE Systems will provide propulsion systems for up to 500 hybrid electric buses recently ordered by King County Metro Transit. The company will supply its HybriDrive® propulsion system to DaimlerBuses North America, which received an order from the Seattle transit agency for 500 Orion VII hybrid buses with an option for 200 additional units. The base, first-year order is for 93 hybrid units.

The King County buses will be equipped with BAE Systems’ lithium-ion energy storage system, which offers longer life than other battery technologies and reduces vehicle weight for improved fuel economy and lower emissions. HybriDrive technology currently powers more than 2,000 buses in cities across North America and in the United Kingdom.

“Seattle has been a leader in championing hybrid technology for urban transit,” said Rich Hopf, general manager of transport systems for BAE Systems in Johnson City, New York. “Incorporating our hybrid system into the King County fleet is a powerful combination toward the goals of reducing fleet emissions and combating the escalating cost of diesel fuel."

The HybriDrive system consists of a generator, an electric motor, and an energy storage system managed by computerized controls. A diesel engine that turns the generator operates independent of the electric drive motor, allowing it to run at nearly consistent speed for optimum efficiency. The system also uses no mechanical transmission, a major maintenance item on conventional diesel buses.

The system meets the durability requirements of demanding urban transit operations, currently powering more than 2,000 buses and transporting more than a million passengers daily. BAE Systems powers the world’s largest hybrid bus fleet, in New York City, and hybrid bus fleets in cities including San Francisco, Toronto, and London. To date, these buses have accumulated more than 100 million miles, saved nearly 5 million gallons of diesel fuel, and prevented more than 50,000 tons of carbon emissions.

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