Azure launches hybrid electric shuttle bus series with sale to Bronx commuter program
Azure Dynamics has launched a shuttle bus program in North America based on its G1 series hybrid powertrain product. Its first sale, to the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC), will deliver five hybrid-electric, 20-passenger shuttle buses for use in the Bronx Clean Commuter Van program. This is the first initiative of its kind for the New York City borough.
The shuttle buses will employ the same chassis and hybrid electric drive system currently used in delivery vans supplied to other Azure customers such as Purolator Courier. The hybrid chassis will be fitted with conventional shuttle bus bodies.
"This program is an important milestone for Azure as we are leveraging our series hybrid powertrain, currently incorporated in several other active programs, in a market that has considerable importance to many different communities," said Azure vice-president Mark Federle.
"This innovative project demonstrates that hybrid electric technology can be applied to shuttle buses, reducing diesel emissions while providing important transportation in areas severely underserved by public transit," said BOEDC president Rafael Salaberrios.
The hybridized buses will operate two or three shifts daily, covering between 160-240 miles per day, six days per week, all year round. Three shuttles will provide service for workers at the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center, and two will replace vans currently used by non-profit organizations throughout the Bronx.
The BOEDC, established in 1981, is a community-based non-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing the borough. It is supporting the hybrid electric shuttle bus program through a grant of $339,200 (U.S.) from the New York State Energy Resarch and Development Authority. Other funding sources include the Clean Air Communities consortium, which has committed $300,000 (U.S.), Con Edison, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
To date, 173 mayors, representing 36 million inhabitants in U.S. cities, have signed The Climate Protection Agreement committing signatory cities to meet or surpass Kyoto Protocol emissions reductions goals. The cities have pledged to devise their own ways to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 7% below 1990 benchmarks.
Azure Dynamics, based in Toronto, specializes in the development and production of hybrid electric and electric commercial and military vehicles and systems. Its operations are based in North America and Europe and the company is currently working internationally with various partners and customers, among them Canada Post, the U.S. Department of Defence, the U.S. Postal Service, Leyland Product Development and London Taxis International.