Azure Dynamics Corporation (TSX: AZD & LSE: ADC) a developer of hybrid electric and electric powertrains for commercial vehicles, has announced with its shuttle bus partner StarTrans, a business division of Supreme Corporation (AMEX: STS), that it has signed nine bus distributors across North America for the marketing and sales of the CitiBus Hybrid Senator HD (“CitiBus”) hybrid electric shuttle buses.
Azure estimates that approximately 70% of the targeted shuttle bus market in the US and Canada is covered by this distributor network.
"More than 10,000 shuttle buses are sold each year in North America and with federal and state funded subsidization programs available in the U.S. for shuttle bus operators that adopt environmentally cleaner hybrid solutions, this sector represents a compelling opportunity for both Azure and StarTrans,” said Campbell Deacon, CEO of Azure Dynamics.
Azure’s hybrid systems offer significant fuel and maintenance savings for shuttle bus operators. In testing, Azure’s hybrid delivery vans, which utilize the same drive train, have demonstrated nearly a 50% reduction in fuel consumption on a mile per gallon basis in city driving compared to conventionally powered delivery vans. Azure’s hybrid chassis also significantly reduce vehicular emissions, achieving reductions in hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emissions of up to 83%, 91% and 53% respectively.
Azure and StarTrans have partnered to produce the hybrid electric CitiBus for urban transit applications. Azure will provide StarTrans with hybrid cab-chassis on which StarTrans will assemble their shuttle bus body at their manufacturing facilities in Goshen, Indiana. The CitiBus cab-chassis utilizes the same G1 Series hybrid chassis currently in production and operation with delivery van fleets such as Purolator Courier Ltd. The cab is an International 3200 cab with Azure’s newly developed front nose. StarTrans assembles their Senator HD “Heavy-Duty” shuttle bus body onto the CitiBus cab-chassis. More information on the CitiBus can be found here.
The HEVs are equipped with a hybrid series configuration, which uses the internal combustion engine combined with a generator to supply electricity for the battery pack and electric motor. There is no mechanical connection between the internal combustion engine power unit and the wheels. All motive power is transferred electrically to one or more electric traction motors that drive the wheels.
The advantage of this configuration is the flexibility afforded by the eliminated mechanical link between the internal combustion engine and the drivetrain. In stop-and-go driving situations, the need to meet varying power demands requires an internal combustion engine in a conventional vehicle to operate inefficiently. Azure’s series hybrid powertrains can operate with full capability in all-electric modes, excess energy can used to charge the batteries, and complicated transmissions are no longer required.
Perfect for low-speed urban drive cycles with frequent stops, idle times and highway speeds of short distances (delivery step-vans, shuttle buses, vans, taxis).
StarTrans’s Senator HD “Heavy-Duty” body utilizes a strong fibreglass-reinforced panel (plastic) (FRP) skin which encases a rugged steel cage for optimal safety.
Supreme Corporation’s StarTrans Bus Division came into existence in 1983. Since then, StarTrans has grown to be one of the leaders in commercial bus manufacturing. StarTrans markets 32 models of transit and tour buses, with passenger capacities ranging from seven up to 42 and offers various wheelchair placements. StarTrans has two manufacturing facilities, one in Goshen, Indiana and the newest in Moreno Valley, California.
Azure Dynamics Corporation is a world leader in the development and production of hybrid electric and electric components and powertrain systems for commercial vehicles. Azure is strategically targeting the commercial delivery vehicle and shuttle bus and is currently working internationally with various partners and customers including: Purolator Courier Ltd., United States Postal Service, Canada Post, Ford Motor Company, Smith Electric Vehicles, Workhorse Custom Chassis, Productive Concepts Inc., StarTrans and AM General LLC.