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Lockheed Martin to deliver more diesel electric propulsion systems for New York City buses

13 January 1999

Lockheed Martin Control Systems announced it has received an order from Nova Bus Inc. for five hybrid diesel-electric drive systems that will be used on buses in New York City. The HybriDrive™ propulsion system will be installed on Nova Bus’ 40-foot RTS platform, the most popular bus platform in New York’s bus fleet. New York City Transit, which already operates four buses equipped with the Lockheed Martin hybrid system, plans to put the five vehicles in service starting this spring.

“We are extremely pleased that New York City Transit has demonstrated its confidence in our technology by opting to expand its hybrid fleet,” said James Scanlon, president of Lockheed Martin Control Systems. “A number of other transit agencies have expressed interest in our HybriDrive™ system, and we’re looking forward to providing these systems that not only provide economical benefits but also improve our environment.”

Scott Mintier, Nova Bus president, said “We are excited to join Lockheed Martin at the forefront of this significant advance in transit bus technology.” The Roswell, New Mexico, bus manufacturer currently is demonstrating a prototype HybriDrive™-equipped RTS bus in New York.

The diesel hybrid technology is perceived as a means of reducing emissions and energy consumption. The hybrid buses are driven by an AC induction motor powered by batteries that are recharged by a diesel-powered generator. The vehicle’s diesel engine is smaller than that used in a conventional bus and operates at nearly constant speed. According to Lockheed Martin, it consumes about half the fuel of a typical bus engine and produces about half the emissions. Because the engine does not constantly rev up and down like the engine in a conventional bus, it also requires less maintenance.

The vehicle has no transmission to require service and overhaul, it accelerates faster and smoother, and it runs quieter than a conventional diesel. In addition, a “regenerative braking” system reverses the drive motor’s direction during braking to slow the vehicle and generate additional electricity to charge the batteries. The result is about a third less brake wear.

The drive system was developed and produced by Lockheed Martin Control Systems of Johnson City, New York. The five buses to be built by Nova Bus will bring to 15 New York City’s diesel hybrid fleet: four low-floor Orion VI buses built by Orion Bus Industries of Oriskany, New York, have been in service since fall 1998, and six more will join the fleet this year.

New York’s hybrid experience has been positive, said Lawrence G. Reuter, MTA New York City president. “We have been very impressed with the performance of these buses since they entered service in early September,” Reuter said. “Diesel hybrid is an exciting technology that has the potential to become a significant part of our efforts to reduce bus emissions.”

The HybriDrive™ system also is being used in heavy start-and-stop service and delivery vehicles. Several such vehicles are being readied for test, including a UPS delivery vehicle that will soon begin an 18-month test in three US cities.

General Motors Corporation announced recently it will also develop a diesel electric bus to be tested in New York City this year.

Lockheed Martin Control Systems, a part of the Lockheed Martin’s Electronics Sector, designs and manufactures flight, mission and engine controls for the world aircraft and space market. The company also produces electronic controls for the locomotive industry and the emerging electric vehicle market.

The Lockheed Martin’s Electronics Sector, a unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation, designs, develops and produces components and systems for military, civil government, and commercial customers around the world. The sector had 1997 sales in excess of $7 billion, and has operating units in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Source: Lockheed Martin Corporation