New Flyer Is First With Altoona Tested 60-Foot Articulated Electric Bus

NOV 17 2018 BY MARK KANE 10

New Flyer succeeds where others didn’t?

New Flyer announced that its sixty-foot articulated heavy-duty transit bus (on the right) has become the first and only sixty-foot battery-electric bus to complete the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Model Bus Testing Program at Altoona, Pennsylvania.

The new bus can take up to 132 passengers and go long-distance. The biggest battery option is 885 kWh battery.

The Altoona tests are important from subsidies standpoint as transport agencies could be required to purchase only buses that complete the tests.

“With successful completion of Altoona Testing, U.S. transit agencies can now utilize FTA funding in support of their purchases of sixty-foot (battery and fuel cell) electric Bus Rapid Transit (“eBRT”) buses from New Flyer, further enabling smart mobility solutions for cities across North America.”

Interestingly, Wayne Joseph, President, New Flyer of America, said that other manufacturers of sixty-foot electric buses attempted the rigorous Altoona tests with sixty-foot buses without success.

“We are tremendously proud to lead transit bus innovation in North America with the first sixty-foot electric bus to complete Altoona Testing. Other manufacturers have attempted the rigorous Altoona tests with sixty-foot buses without success, so we celebrate this important milestone in deploying zero-emission bus propulsion technology, on a proven, safe, and reliable bus platform.”

Chris Stoddart, Senior Vice President of Engineering and Customer Service, New Flyer said:

“Our sixty-foot electric bus models offer the highest capacity of any transit bus in North America, with the ability to transport 132 passengers at a time. New Flyer’s sixty-foot battery-electric and fuel cell-electric model buses are equipped with two driven axles (rear and center) for enhanced traction and control in all weather conditions; an added safety feature of our exclusive electric propulsion system. Combined with regenerative braking from electric motors using Siemens power management to recharge lithium-ion batteries sourced in America, this eBRT assists with reduced traffic congestion, cost effective transit, improved air quality, and greater smart mobility solutions to communities across America.”

Categories: Bus


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10 Comments on "New Flyer Is First With Altoona Tested 60-Foot Articulated Electric Bus"

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The only other 60 foot electric bus available is the BYD articulated bus. Guess they did not complete the Altoona testing. Too rigorous?

BYD has had some quality control issues and some performance shortfalls w regards to hilly routes. Cool to see New Flyer stepping up to the plate on what looks like a demanding test.

what is bothersome is that ANY group is buying BYD. They constantly have quality issues in manufacturing, in engineering, in design, etc.
All in all, BYD costs a lot more because they take so many shortcuts and then charge a high price for it.

I’m pretty sure he was thinking of North America only. (They do not generally import European buses as far as I’m aware, so FTA doesn’t test them…)

Of course there are quite a lot of articulated BEV bus models in Europe.

“… (There are no minimum performance standards for the tests nor are the tests rated “pass” or “fail.”) The bus reports are considered confidential until the manufacturer gives permission to publish it or until such time as the manufacturer responds to a procurement bid by a Federal Transit Administration-funded recipient.

Prior to purchase, recipients requesting federal funding must obtain a copy of the report for the specific bus model that is to be purchased using federal funds. This enables the recipient to manage risk during procurement by providing an unbiased means of comparing bus performance on standardized tests. ”

Hmmm – who to believe: “passed rigorous test” or “no pass or fail”?

Unless the text of this article changed, I think you mis-read: the word “pass” does not appear in the article. It reports that New Flyer says they are the first to “complete” the tests, but others “attempted.” That implies BYD began the test and quit; perhaps there was a single trial they could not execute at all (like something requiring 800 kw-hrs?).

Testing. What does that imply?
Why a grade or a pass/fail.

And as to pass/fail:

To date, more than 325 new bus models have been tested, resulting in over 7,870 documented failures, 38 of which could have resulted in serious injuries or significant property damage had they occurred in revenue service. Many would have adversely impacted service (e.g., resulting in road calls stranding passengers), and all would have increased maintenance costs by requiring corrective maintenance actions. By testing new bus models before they are purchased, grantees and manufacturers can often address problems before the fleet is built, potentially saving considerable money and time and avoiding inconveniencing passengers. Bus Testing Reports are available through the Bus Testing Database, where they can be searched and filtered to facilitate comparisons between different bus models.

Sounds like failure is not only possible, but likely.

I think I read in a related article that the Altoona testing is required for any transit project receiving Federal funding; and that some BYD buses in the Altoona testing developed cracks in a structural component. Not sure if that was the 60-foot buses, but that would be a possible reason for why BYD did not complete the Altoona test regiment.

Bravo New Flyer! Top notch engineering out of Winnipeg, MB, Canada! Truly impressive when you also consider the electric motor coach that MCI, now NFI’s subsidiary, is developing in that same city.