Daimler Buses North America announced on Monday that the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority has ordered 850 diesel-electric hybrid Orion VII Next Generation buses. The M.T.A. first announced its intent to order new buses in October, pending approval of the agency’s board. The order will increase the number of M.T.A. hybrid-electric buses to nearly 1,700, the largest fleet of hybrid-electrics in the world.
The buses, built in Mississauga, Ontario, and Oriskany, N.Y., will go into service in 2010 and include a hybrid powertrain that uses an electric motor to power the wheels, and a small diesel engine to charge the batteries. Like the upcoming (we think) Chevrolet Volt, the diesel engine will only charge the lithium-ion batteries, and all motive power will come from the electric motor. The combination will give the buses substantial torque for quick getaways from stops, and promises to increase fuel economy by up to 30 percent while reducing emissions. Because of the smaller and cleaner diesel engine, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 30 percent, oxides of nitrogen by 40 percent and particulates, the usual bane of diesels, by up to 90 percent.
All good news. The only thing left to ponder is why, in the photo accompanying the press release, the apparently rogue — and visibly driverless — bus-of-the-future is careering across Columbus Avenue to make a left turn onto 63rd Street, against the posted one-way prohibitions (not pictured). Surely, even in 2010, the M11 will continue its immutable trundle down Columbus?
(source : http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com)