BAE to supply bus propulsion systems

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BAE Systems is to provide propulsion systems for up to 500 hybrid electric buses recently ordered by King County Metro Transit in Seattle.

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 HybriDrive system consists of a generator, an electric motor and a lithium-ion energy storage system managed under computer control.

A diesel engine that turns the generator operates independently from the electric drive motor, allowing it to run at a near-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 and is currently powering more than 2,000 buses and transporting more than a million passengers daily.

To date, bus fleets across the globe using the BAE Systems technology have accumulated more than 100 million miles, saved nearly five million gallons of diesel fuel and prevented more than 50,000 tons of carbon emissions.