SOURCE: ISE Corporation

April 29, 2008 13:36 ET

MTS Launches First-Ever ISE-Powered CNG Hybrid-Electric Bus

Cleanest, Quietest Bus in MTS Fleet

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - April 29, 2008) - On April 10, 2008, Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) launched the first commercial bus with a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) hybrid-electric drive system (CNG Hybrid Drive System). ISE Corporation (ISE) developed and supplied the CNG Hybrid Drive System, a variant of ISE's successful line of ThunderVolt™ hybrid drive systems. ISE also integrated the CNG Hybrid Drive System into a standard 40-foot transit bus that was supplied by MTS. Funding for the program was provided by grants from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), San Diego Air Pollution Control District (APCD), and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). North Island Credit Union participated in the program by providing a unique bus wrap to call attention to the environmentally friendly and technologically advanced bus.

The $1 million CNG hybrid prototype bus will cut significant emissions from the already clean-burning CNG buses in the MTS fleet, providing more power and a quieter ride.

"This new technology is important to California transit agencies that have invested heavily in CNG infrastructure and are seeking even more efficient power drives," said San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts, who also represents San Diego on the boards of directors of MTS, APCD and CARB. "The CNG-electric hybrid technology represents the next step forward in our commitment to a healthier environment."

The CNG hybrid bus will travel all over the MTS network, providing commuters the opportunity to experience the new technology.

The CNG Hybrid Drive System is expected to provide the following environmental benefits:

--  Significantly greater fuel economy than standard CNG
    
--  Reduced NOx emission over standard CNG
    
--  Reduced CO2 emissions
    
--  Reduced brake wear and brake maintenance
    
--  Operate quieter than standard CNG buses
    

"MTS is committed to providing clean, safe, reliable and environmentally friendly transportation," said Paul Jablonski, CEO of MTS. "We have been in the process of retiring our old diesel buses and replacing them with cleaner and more efficient technologies since 1997. We have already replaced almost 75 percent of our fleet with CNG buses and will complete the conversion over the next five to six years."

The CNG Hybrid Drive System is based on ISE's proven ThunderVolt™ gasoline hybrid drive systems and features a Cummins ISB Gas Plus engine, a Siemens 165kW electrical generator, two Siemens duo inverters, two Siemens 85kW drive motors and Cobasys-developed NiMH batteries. MTS provided a New Flyer bus for the program and New Flyer assisted ISE in the modification of the bus chassis.

"ISE is excited to take part in this program to help further improve the environmental impacts of public transit in San Diego," said Gary Willms, ISE VP of Business Development. "Our hybrid system has provided measureable benefits in other California cities, throughout the United States and Canada. We look forward to do the same for San Diego. Our next step is to assist MTS in the testing and evaluation of the CNG Hybrid Drive System performance compared to conventional CNG buses."

San Diego's North Island Credit Union, which is developing a new LEED-certified, environmentally friendly headquarters, was selected by MTS to provide a unique bus wrap for the CNG hybrid bus. The credit union is known for its corporate brand, which includes an iconic illustration of San Diego County's greatest landmarks. Called "Island Paradise," the signature artwork is a perfect fit to highlight the CNG hybrid bus.

"North Island Credit Union employees and members are committed to caring for the environment in San Diego," said Geri Dillingham, executive vice president and chief operating officer of North Island Credit Union. "We are proud to lend our signature artwork to call attention to this technologically-advanced and environmentally friendly bus."

The addition of the new CNG hybrid bus to the MTS fleet comes in conjunction with the recently authorized MTS purchase of up to twenty, 35-foot gasoline hybrid buses for delivery this fall, and up to 250, 40-foot conventional CNG powered buses or gasoline hybrid powered buses over the next five years. The new order of buses will be the biggest procurement order in the history of MTS.

Currently MTS maintains and operates 476 buses of which 75 percent are CNG. The new CNG hybrid bus and the new bus procurement will align MTS with its stated goal of converting its entire fleet to CNG or hybrid technology within the next 6 years.

For a look at MTS' new CNG hybrid-electric bus, follow this link: http://www.isecorp.com/gallery/SDMTS-CNG-Hybrid-Electric-Bus

About ISE Corporation:

ISE Corporation, based in San Diego, CA, is a leading supplier of hybrid drive systems and components for heavy-duty vehicles such as buses, trucks, trams, airport equipment, and military vehicles. ISE is a world leader in electric, hybrid-electric, and fuel cell technologies, and the only authorized distributor of Siemens ELFA® electric and hybrid-electric drive components for the U.S. transit bus market. www.isecorp.com

Safe Harbor Statement: Certain statements contained in this press release are forward-looking in nature. ISE's business and operations are subject to a variety of risks, uncertainties and other factors. Consequently, actual results may materially differ from those projected and/or stated by any forward-looking statements. ISE Corporation makes no commitment to revise or update any forward-looking statements in order to reflect events or circumstances after the date any such statement is made.

ISE, the ISE logo, ThunderVolt and Transportation Recharged are trademarks of ISE Corporation. Other brand or product names are trademarks of their respective holders.

Copyright © 2008 ISE Corporation. All rights reserved.

Contact Information

  • ISE Contact:
    Gary Willms
    Vice President Business Development, ISE Corporation
    Email Contact