3,000 Hybrid Buses: Daimler Buses North America Reaches Milestone with New Firm Orders


    ORISKANY, N.Y. and MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, Sept. 2 /CNW/ -- Daimler Buses
North America announced today that sales for the Orion VII diesel-electric
hybrid bus have surpassed 3,000 units - more than any other manufacturer in
the world. Over 2,200 units are already in service, with an additional 850
firm orders in backlog from cities such as New York City, Seattle, Houston,
Ottawa and Puerto Rico.

    "Daimler remains committed to leading the hybrid bus market worldwide,
and our subsequent orders in North America is evidence of the confidence our
customers have in our buses and coaches," said Hartmut Schick, head of Daimler
Buses. "Being the leader is a responsibility that we take seriously and remain
committed to delivering leading edge and reliable products for our customers."

    Houston Metro is placing an additional order for 80 Orion VII
diesel-electric hybrid buses for 2010 delivery. This compliments its existing
fleet of 56 Orion VII hybrids which were delivered in 2008 and the 40 units
that will be delivered in 2009. Another long-term customer Puerto Rico is
transitioning into hybrid buses for its existing fleet of conventional diesel
Orion transit buses with an order of 40 Orion VII diesel-electric hybrid
buses. These will be produced and delivered in 2010.

    "We are obviously pleased to be the first manufacturer of hybrid buses to
reach the 3,000 unit mark, but we will not rest on our laurels," said Dr.
Andreas Strecker, president and CEO of Daimler Buses North America. "And as
quickly as technology advances, it is very important for Daimler Buses to
remain ahead of the curve in this industry."

    Orion began development and production of hybrid buses in the mid 1990's
with pilot vehicles first deployed in New York City Transit. Series production
began in the early 2000's and with this rich history of hybrid leadership and
innovation, Daimler Buses has grown to become the world-leader. Innovation
continues with Orion hybrid buses, having introduced in 2008 lithium-ion
energy storage technology for buses in volume production. This development has
reduced the weight of the overall bus and thereby further improving fuel
economy. Daimler Buses is already developing and testing further refinements
in our hybrid system that will be introduced in 2010. These technological
advancements will offer even greater benefits to our customers and passengers.

    The heart of the Orion VII diesel-electric hybrid bus is the HybriDrive 
propulsion system manufactured by BAE Systems of Johnson City, N.Y. The system
powers the bus with components arranged in series: 6.7L diesel engine from
Cummins; a generator; an electric motor, and the Lithium-ion energy storage
system. All of these components are optimized and configured for the Orion
VII. The diesel engine is optimized to run at relatively constant speeds
(acceleration/deceleration is accomplished by varying the speed of the
electric motor, not the diesel) for maximum efficiency and clean operation.

    Another feature of the Orion VII hybrid is the regenerative braking
system that uses the electric drive motor to slow the bus, effectively turning
the motor into a generator to help recharge the bus batteries. This feature
both saves energy and significantly reduces brake wear. The series hybrid
design also eliminates the need for a mechanical transmission which means no
transmission overhauls, a major maintenance item on conventional buses.

    While the Orion VII hybrid bus can be seen across North America, New York
City is where you'll find the most units in operation. There are over 1,250
Orion VII hybrids in the New York metropolitan area already with another 425
units to be delivered over the next nine months making New York City Transit
the largest hybrid fleet in the world.

    "The Orion brand has historically been known for dependability and
reliability, and the Orion VII hybrid continues this tradition of excellence,"
said Patrick Scully, chief commercial officer for Daimler Buses North America.
"As our experience grows and technology continues to develop, we're confident
our hybrid buses will continue to exceed customer expectations and outperform
our competition."

    About Daimler Buses North America
    Daimler Buses North America, headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., combines
three trusted commercial bus brands under one corporate structure: Orion
transit buses, Setra motorcoaches, and the Sprinter shuttle bus. Backed by the
advanced technological expertise and financial strength of its parent Daimler,
the global leader in commercial vehicles, the division provides the commercial
bus market with a powerful combination of product knowledge, resources, and
service/support systems.


For further information:

For further information: Bryan C. Allen, +1-336-456-2283,
Bryan.Allen@dcbusna.com, or Jake Keys, +1-336-878-3615, Jake.Keys@dcbusna.com
Web Site: http://www.dcbusna.com

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