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New Flyer Industries Inc., Winnipeg, MB, and its consortium partners are getting $3.4 million from the Federal government's Sustainable Development Technology Canada program to further develop 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.

“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,” says 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,” says 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,” says Paul Soubry, New Flyer’s president and CEO. “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.” 

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 per cent 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.

New Flyer manufactures heavy-duty transit buses in Canada and the US.  Its three manufacturing facilities are located in Winnipeg, MB, St. Cloud, MN, and Crookston, MN – are all ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certified. It also currently operates a parts fabrication facility in Elkhart, IN, and four parts distribution centers in Winnipeg, MB, Brampton, ON, Erlanger, KY, and Fresno, CA., as well as a service centre in Arnprior, ON.

New Flyer has delivered more than 32,000 heavy-duty buses in Canada and the US

New Flyer Industries


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