New Flyer Unveils New Xcelsior CHARGE Electric Bus With Up To 600 kWh Battery

OCT 13 2017 BY MARK KANE 13

New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE 60’

New Flyer has announced its next generation electric bus – the Xcelsior CHARGE, complete with a battery pack capacity that we have never seen before!

New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE

The standard 40-foot can be equipped with up to 600 kWh of battery according to the company, but it really gets interesting with New Flyer’s 60-foot articulated model – which tops out at 885 kWh!

Ranges of these buses will be tremendous, with the company stating “realistic transit ranges of over 200 miles on single charge” for the 40 foot/600 kWh ebus alone.

Depending on the version, batteries are provided by XALT Energy or A123 Systems, while the motors are supplied by Siemens.

Earlier this year Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) ordered 35 60-foot Xcelsior electric buses with option for 65 more.

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.

New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE 40’

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.

Wayne Joseph, President of New Flyer of America said:

“At New Flyer of America we’re working hard to provide transit authorities and their passengers with more attractive transportation options that they can feel good about. We’re committed to supporting healthy communities through manufacturing leading zero-emission bus technology in America.”

New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE

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13 Comments on "New Flyer Unveils New Xcelsior CHARGE Electric Bus With Up To 600 kWh Battery"

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I’d like to see an article on market share of diesel, nat gas, hybrid, and full electric. I can’t seem to find a decent one. Presumably there is a rapid shift occurring.

Natural gas has been the beast this past several years. They emit less than half the pollution, they cost little more than a diesel, fueling them is relatively straightforward and they are quieter than a diesel. But they are only less bad than diesels.
In the past year or two, BYD and Proterra have been really ramping up production, mostly BYD in China, but both are gaining market share here in the states. Until now I had heard very little about Xcelsior.
I think Tom’s question on market share is a good one, and since Insideevs is about the only larger BEV website I have seen that expresses continued interest in electric buses by having regular articles, I would bet that we will see something of the sort in the near future.

Fueling them is not so simple. You need to find a depot, which is an expensive capital outlay. The fueling is also slow.

Natural gas pumps can fill a bus in about the time it takes to fill a vehicle with gasoline, if they use the fast fill pumps, anyway. So natural gas has a small advantage over BEV buses. You can refuel a nat gas bus in 5 minutes instead of an hour or more for the huge packs like New Flyer’s Xcelsior. That is a huge pack!

Being able to completely refuel during a drivers lunch break is a nice feature that nat gas gives you.

BEV buses will take over the industry, but it won’t happen overnight and until it does, I hope most cities choose nat gas over diesel.

Seems like these buses are leading the way on high capacity batteries and high capacity chargers.

Giant battery.

We have a New Flyer factory in Winnipeg, Canada. I’ve seen a few “electric” buses around with a Mitsubishi logo and New Flyer logo on the side. I don’t know where they are made though. I’m not sure if they are hybrids or fuel cells or what.

This is from Wikipedia:
In June 2012 New Flyer, in a joint venture with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the Manitoba Government, Manitoba Hydro and Red River College, unveiled a fully electric battery-powered bus.[8]

Winnipeg Transit has at least 1 all electric new flyer bus on the airport route. Pretty sure the first delivered bus in 2014 mentioned in article was to Winnipeg transit. Easy to investigate issues since Winnipeg is where they are manufactured. Since some of the testing is in Winnipeg the winter testing should be extensive. I believe the bus heating of the cabin is done with natural gas in winter (air heat pumps do not work at lower then -20 C or -4F) but they likely have multiple winterization options.

I can’t wait till a kwh of battery cost’s $10

Interesting, though I suspect huge battery packs aren’t the best solution for local-transit routes (shortish routes with lots of stops) — it might be cheaper to use much smaller packs but partially recharge them at 2-3 points along the way using catenaries.


Wouldn’t small trailers containing most of the battery make sense for buses? Trailors could be switched within a minute or two and the bus itself would do well with e.g. a 100kwh battery.

Unless the city swaps the buses to different routes.
But, yes, a smaller battery that’s recharged would be less expense, and you could buy more on the same budget.
But, then it’s only good for a select number of routes.