Shown speaking at the launch of a test of four diesel-electric “series” hybrid buses at the Bee Line Bus terminal in Valhalla, NY, last month is Sen. Hilary Clinton (NY-D). The Orion buses were assembled at a DaimlerChrysler Commercial Buses plant in Oriskany, NY, using power-trains supplied by a BAE Systems plant in Johnson City, NY, as well as emission-control devices from Corning, NY-based Corning.
According to DaimlerChrysler, its Orion VII diesel-electric bus boosts fuel economy by 30% while reducing emissions — up to 90% less particulate matter, 40% less nitrogen oxide and 25% less greenhouse gases compared to current diesel models. Being a “series” hybrid means a single electric motor — powered by a Cummins ISB 5.9-liter engine — turns the drive wheels. This differs from a more conventional “parallel” hybrid that has a diesel engine turn the drive wheels while an electric motor assists.