WINNIPEG, Oct. 26, 2012 /CNW/ - (TSX:NFI;TSX:NFI.DB.U) New Flyer Industries Inc. ("New Flyer" or the "Company"), the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses in Canada and the United States, along with its consortium partners, announced today that it has been awarded $3.4 million in funding through Sustainable Development Technology Canada ("SDTC") to further enhance rapid-charge battery-electric bus propulsion technology.
The funding will contribute to on-going work to create the future of green public transportation underway here in Manitoba with New Flyer's consortium partners, which includes the Manitoba Government, Manitoba Hydro, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., Red River College and Winnipeg Transit.
"Today's announcement is welcome news for our community. Our government is helping Canadian business develop innovative new energy technologies and create Canadian jobs - including right here in Winnipeg," said Lawrence Toet, Member of Parliament for Elmwood - Transcona, Winnipeg, on behalf of the Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources. "This electric bus technology developed by New Flyer is an example of clean energy innovation that provides Canadians with high-quality jobs and contributes to our long term prosperity."
"This is a clear example of how cleantech can truly revolutionize an industry: we have here a technology that will bring down operational costs while reducing emissions," said Vicky Sharpe, President and CEO of SDTC. "Together with its partners, New Flyer will put this technology to the test - a move that could revolutionize Canada's transportation industry."
"Made-in-Manitoba clean energy technology will be the future of public transit," said Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger. "I'm thrilled the work we are doing here is attracting new partners to help us continue to move forward with the development of green mass transit vehicles to be used here and around the world."
The SDTC project involves the development and implementation of four rapid-charge battery-electric transit buses and a high capacity charging station. These buses are targeted to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2013 and will be operated by Winnipeg Transit in revenue service over a four-year period. This project will examine the technology and key operational performance issues including: the charging system, battery capacity, component life and reliability and the assessment of both operational and life cycle cost savings.
This announcement comes on the heels of the consortium partners unveiling of the battery-electric bus prototype on June 1, 2012, an award by the Chicago Transit Authority to New Flyer on June 21, 2012 for two battery-electric buses and the unveiling of two New Flyer all-electric accessory hybrid-electric buses by Minneapolis Metro on August 14, 2012. New Flyer's electrification development has been focused on the Xcelsior platform, the Company's highly successful next-generation transit bus.
"We're really 'charged up' by the interest in our battery-electric bus," said Paul Soubry, New Flyer's President and Chief Executive Officer. "This important project further allows us to execute on our electrification strategy and pushes closer to the critical point of cost-effective commercialization of this propulsion technology in bus applications." Soubry added, "We acknowledge the Canadian Government's recognition of clean technology and appreciate SDTC's substantial support in developing a sustainable future in battery-electric bus technology. This project will help identify and resolve technical and economic operational issues in the real world battery-electric transportation, advancing it closer to commercial reality."
Zero-Emission battery-electric propulsion transit buses are expected to significantly reduce green house gas and smog-causing criteria air contaminant emissions. In Manitoba, where the electrical grid is highly renewable (>98% electricity is generated without burning fuel), the use of electric propulsion buses are expected to translate to an estimated reduction of 160 tonnes (or nearly all) of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per bus per year, compared to the diesel propulsion transit buses currently operated by Winnipeg Transit.
"For us it's all about improving service to our customers. If we can have quiet, comfortable, long life buses with lower emissions and lower operating costs, it is a big win for our organization and our community," said Dave Wardrop, Director of Winnipeg Transit.
All dollar amounts in this release are stated in Canadian currency.
About New Flyer
New Flyer is the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses in Canada and the United States. The Company's three manufacturing facilities - in Winnipeg, MB; St. Cloud, MN and Crookston, MN - are all ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certified. The Company currently operates a parts fabrication facility in Elkhart, IN and four parts distribution centers in Winnipeg, MB; Brampton, ON; Erlanger, KY and Fresno, CA. The Company also operates a service center in Arnprior, ON.
With a skilled workforce of over 2,000 employees, New Flyer is a technology leader, offering the broadest product line in the industry, including drive systems powered by clean diesel, LNG, CNG and electric trolley as well as energy-efficient diesel-electric hybrid vehicles. New Flyer has delivered over 32,000 heavy-duty buses in Canada and the United States. All products are supported with an industry-leading, comprehensive parts and service network. Further information is available on New Flyer's web site at www.newflyer.com.
The common shares and convertible unsecured subordinated debentures of New Flyer are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols NFI and NFI.DB.U, respectively.
About Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC)
On behalf of the Government of Canada, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) helps commercialize Canadian clean technologies, readying them for growth and export markets. With a portfolio of companies under management valued at more than $2 billion, SDTC is demonstrating that cleantech is a driver of jobs, productivity and economic prosperity.
SDTC operates two funds aimed at the development and demonstration of innovative technological solutions. The $590 million SD Tech Fund™ supports projects that address climate change, air quality, clean water, and clean soil. The $500 million NextGen Biofuels Fund™ supports the establishment of first-of-kind large demonstration-scale facilities for the production of next-generation renewable fuels.
SDTC works with the private sector, the financial sector and all levels of government to meet the Government of Canada's commitment to create a healthy environment and a high quality of life for all Canadians. SDTC operates as a not-for-profit corporation. For more information: www.sdtc.ca.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements relating to expected future events and financial and operating results of New Flyer that involve risks and uncertainties. Although the forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based upon what management believes to be reasonable assumptions, investors cannot be assured that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements, and the differences may be material. Actual results may differ materially from management expectations as projected in such forward-looking statements for a variety of reasons, including market and general economic conditions, battery-electric propulsion on transit buses is still largely unproven technology and there is no assurance that such technology will result in a product desired by customers, the prototype buses must be tested and proven in operating conditions, a commercialized product must be marketed and sold to potential customers, there may be no significant demand for an all-electric bus from customers, the economic conditions of and funding availability for customers to purchase buses and to purchase parts or services and the other risks and uncertainties discussed in the materials filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities and available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Due to the potential impact of these factors, New Flyer disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required by applicable law.
SOURCE: New Flyer Industries Inc.
Jon Koffman, Investor Relations
Tel: (204) 224-6672