User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Buses World News: March 2012

Buses World News

In brief: Worldwide montly news & informations about Buses, Busmakers, Passengers' and the Transport Industry



* UK - Low carbon bus funding will boost UK automotive manufacturing

London,EN,UK -SMMT -23 March 2012: -- Government today announced the winning bids under the third round of the Green Bus Fund for hybrid, electric and gas buses. The £31 million Green Bus Fund will see 439 new low carbon buses come to UK roads, the majority of which are expected to be manufactured in the UK... The 439 new buses will be a combination of 128 single-deck and 311 double-deck buses that will come into service from spring 2013. Through significant investments made by manufacturers, this latest wave of fuel-efficient buses will save over 9,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year... Five bus manufacturers will benefit from orders for their eco-friendly hybrid, electric and gas buses. They comprise; Alexander Dennis Limited, MAN, Optare, Volvo and Wrightbus, all of which are based in, or partly in, the UK. 26 bus operators including Arriva, First and Stagecoach will receive more than £22 million, with more than £8 million split between five local authorities...

* Mexico - Dina and UAM, Develop All-mexican Hybrid Bus
Mexico,DF,MEX -21 March 2012: -- The Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM), Azcapotzalco unit in Mexico City and Dina Trucks, entered into an agreement for the development of a 100 percent Mexican hybrid bus. Besides developing a hybrid bus the project aims at developing also a low-floor trolleybuses. The units will be fitted with high-tech energy storage and traction components, that meet the current needs of urban transport... The units in development are not only destined as a base for 12-meter buses, but also for articulated and bi-articulated buses... Read more

* China - Zongshen Plans To Acquire American Bluebird School Bus Company
(Photo: A Bluebird bus, Vision model)
Chongqing,China -20 March 2012: -- In how far these plans need to be taken serious, is unclear, because Zongshen at this moment is mainly a motorcycle manufacturer. But it obviously wants to enter the growing market for school buses, claiming to be in talks with Bluebird to take over the company and start a schoolbus production in its Chongqing motorcycle plant. Zongshen wants to pay $ 250 million for the acquisition of Bluebird, it says. Chinese schoolbus sales may hit 70.000 units in 2012, with further growth foreseen for the coming years... Other reports in Chinese media have revealed that Blue Bird is in talks with Xiamen Fengtai International New Energy Automobile Co., about local school bus production in Haicang, Xiamen. Both sides will together build an assembly plant with an annual capacity of 20,000 units. Blue Bird is the second largest school bus manufacturer in the USA with 30% market share... Read more

* Germany - Webasto Takes Over Diavia Cooling System
(Photo: Diavia airco 2012)
Munich,Germany -17 March 2012: -- Webasto, the Germany based automotive supplier, announced the signature of a share purchase agreement to buy from Delphi Italia Automotive Systems S.r.l. its Diavia cooling system business for off-highway and special applications like electric buses... Read more

* Germany - Mercedes-benz Presents New Engine Generation
(Photo: MercedesBenz Euro 6 bus engine)
Stuttgart,Germany- 4 March 2012: -- Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a totally new generation of Mercedes-Benz medium-duty engines with the series designation OM 93x together with the equally new heavy-duty OM 470 engine. With this launch Daimler is expanding its "BlueEfficiency Power" engine portfolio into a comprehensive range complying with the impending Euro VI emissions standard... Read more

* USA - Allison Transmission Ipo At Triple 2007 Value
(Photo: Allison hybrid EV Drive)
Indianapolis,IND,USA -13 March 2012: -- Carlyle Group LP and Onex Corp., owners of transmission manufacturer Allison, are seeking to take Allison Transmission Holdings Inc. public at a valuation that’s almost triple what they paid for the auto-parts maker, when they acquired it in 2007... Read more

* Brazil - Volgren Majority Sold To Marcopolo
(Photo: Marcopolo's new Paradiso model bus)
Sao Paulo,SP,Brazil -5 March 2012: -- Grenda recently entered into an agreement to sell a majority stake in bodybuilder Volgren Australia Pty Ltd to Brazilian Marcopolo S.A.- Marcopolo is one of the world’s largest bus manufacturers’ producing around 30,000 buses per annum in 11 plants worldwide. They also have a components factory located in Changzhou, China. Marcopolo employs over 18,000 people and has a turnover of around $1.6 billion Australian dollars ... Read more

* USA - Allison Transmission Launches Pts Automatic For China School Buses
(Photo: Kinglong schoolbus)
Indianapolis,IND,USA -3 March 2012: -- For the first time outside of North America, Allison Transmission launches the Pupil Transport/Shuttle Series (PTS) of automatic transmissions specially designed for school buses at the 2012 First China School Bus Development Seminar and International School Bus Exhibition...  In response to market needs in China, Allison is making the PTS available to provide end users with an advanced solution for increased school bus safety. The Allison automatic PTS not only enables easy maneuverability which allows drivers to devote their attention to the road, but also includes a special feature to help strengthen school bus safety... Read more

* China - Ningbo To Combat Air Pollution With Switch To Natural Gas Vehicles
(Photo: Foton CNG bus)
Ningbo,Zhejiang,China -29 Feb 2012: -- In the Chinese city of Ningbo, the port of which has recorded the greatest growth in container business in the world, motor vehicle exhaust emissions has become a major source of urban air pollution; the vehicle population passed 1 million at end 2010. The Ningbo Municipal Development and Reform Commission has set in motion measures to improve the environment and promote energy conservation by introducing a plan to promote conversion to natural gas fuel for urban buses, taxis and port container trucks, reports Ningbo Evening News... During this twelfth five-year plan period, the Commission aims to convert thousands of vehicles to natural gas: 2500 buses (50% of total fleet) supported by 10 filling stations, 3500 dual-fuel taxis (70%) supplied by 15-20 stations, and 500 port container trucks (40%) supplied by 3 to 4 stations. The first filling stations for taxis are expected to be operational in April... Read more




Briefing Weekly News

* UK - Go-Ahead pursuing flywheel hybrid
London,EN,UK -Bus and Coach -21 March 2012: -- In a novel move Go-Ahead and Williams Hybrid Power have agreed to develop and produce six prototype buses with a retrofitted hybrid flywheel system. Until now most hybrid developments have been led by manufacturers rather than in a partnership involving an operator. The system – similar to one being explored by Optare - uses electro-mechanical energy to drive the bus and while improving fuel economy and reducing CO2 emissions. Williams Hybrid Power has been at the forefront of hybrid flywheel systems in motor racing...

* USA - Proterra scales down
Greenville,SC.,USA -Bus and Coach -12 March 2012: -- Ambitious plans by a new builder of electric buses, Proterra, appear to have been scaled down. The company had said it would create 1,300 new jobs over seven years, but has now revised that figure to 400. Proterra is based in Greenville, South Carolina, and says it is in talks with 30 fleets in the USA on potential sales of its BE35 urban bus. It currently has orders for eight...

* India - MCV Merc for city operation
Pune,India -Bus and Coach -12 March 2012: -- Mercedes-Benz has launched a low-entry city bus in India. The bus is being built in conjunction with Egyptian bodybuilder MCV which has set up a factory in Pune with the capacity to build 900 buses a year. The O500U is currently sold in South America, South Africa and Australia...

* USA - Blue Bird eyes China
Fort Valley,GA,USA-Bus and Coach -12 March 2012: -- US school bus builder Blue Bird is exploring opportunities in China after exhibiting at the country’s first school bus exhibition, held in Beijing. The Chinese government has been talking of tougher rules for school transport following a number of accidents involving school buses...

* China - Battery boost for Shenzhen
Shenzhen,China -Bus and Coach -12 March 2012: -- Shenzhen city is to add 1,000 BYD K9 battery-electric buses and 500 e6 taxis to its public transport fleet. The Shenzhen Development and Reform Commission says the move is a response to rising oil prices and growing environmental pressures... The city also proposes a levy on petrol-engined cars, and will provide buyers of electric cars with charging points close to their homes and workplaces. BYD says its 12m-long K9 bus can cover 155 miles on a single charge...

* UK - Strong growth for McKenna
London,EN,UK -Bus and Coach -12 March 2012: -- McKenna Brothers says that 2011 was an “outstanding year considering the current economic climate and 2012 shows no sign of slowing down. It reports sales up by 27 per cent and says that all parts of the business showed growth including electronic destinations, onboard systems, print,ed blinds and vehicle vinyls... In London the Smartblind product continues to grow with all new vehicles fitted with electronic roller blind systems. TfL specified Smartblinds with more traditional white-on-black characters on the blind fitted to the new Wrightbus-built New Bus for London... McKenna supports many thousands of units in London and has 12 field engineers working in and around the capital. Outside London McKenna has signed long term contracts with some of the UK’s largest operators and says it is close to securing other large deals...

* UK - £100million boost for England’s buses
London,EN,UK -Bus and Coach -23 March 2012: -- Awards to support 439 low-carbon buses and details of the Better Bus Areas fund winners combine to see the government spending just over £100million to support buses, £31million more than originally announced. Most of the low-carbon buses will be hybrids, but MAN will be supplying 34 CNG-powered single-deckers to three operators, and there is one grant to support eight battery-electric buses. According to the Department for Transport confirmed orders have been placed with Volvo, ADL, MAN, Optare and Wrightbus for 339 vehicles, leaving 100 orders still to be settled... The money being spent on BBAs - £70million – will be shared between 24 local authorities and will support new bus priorities, integrated ticketing and the expansion of real-time information...

* UK - Glasgow Citybus Enviro200 upgrade
Glasgow,SCT,UK -Bus and Coach -13 March 2012: -- Glasgow Citybus is modernising its fleet with 15 ADL Enviro200s. Seven entered service last month, with eight more to follow in May. The company, a subsidiary of West Coast Motors, operates a network of bus services in north-west Glasgow...

* UK - Reading goes for “style and verve”
Reading,Berkshire,UK -Bus and Coach -13 March 2012: -- Reading Buses is the latest customer for the Wrightbus StreetLite, with six 34-seat WF models now in service. Reading Buses chief executive officer James Freeman says that the buses add “a dash of style and verve” to the fleet. Their arrival means that the fleet is now 100 per cent low-floor with an average age of four years... The StreetLites cost around £120,000...

* UK - First B9R Panther for Tees Valley
Eaglescliffe,Stockton-on-Tees,NE.UK -Bus and Coach -13 March 2012: -- The latest addition to the fleet of Tees Valley Coach Travel of Eaglescliffe is a new Plaxton Panther, based on a Volvo B9R. It joins a predominantly Plaxton coach fleet, which includes Panthers and a top-specification tri-axle Elite used primarily as the Middlesbrough Football Club team coach... The 12.8m-long Panther is an air-conditioned 49/53-seater with centre sunken toilet. The B9R is powered by Volvo’s 340bhp D9B engine, coupled to the I-Shift 12-speed...

* UK - Hybrid Solos for St Albans service
Hatfield,Hertfordshire,UK -Bus and Coach -13 March 2012: -- Uno of Hatfield this week put its first hybrids into service. The buses are two Optare Solos and they are for operation in St Albans. They were purchased with the support of Hertfordshire county council and the government’s Green Bus Fund...

* UK - Anitas takes another Futura
London,EN,UK -Bus and Coach -13 March 2012: -- New for Anitas Coaches, based at Stansted Airport, is this VDL Bova Futura FHD127.365PR. It is a repeat order for the company which has been a regular Bova customer over the last few years. This Futura is 13m long and is configured as a 53/55-seater with a centre demountable toilet. It is air-conditioned and has a Blaupunkt Professional Line multimedia system for passenger entertainment. It was supplied by Moseley Coach Sales... Anitas has been in business since 1972 and its fleet ranges from 16-seaters upwards. The Bova Futura is a remarkably long-lived design, having been around since 1983, and although there have been changes over the years the latest model is recognisably the same basic design as the original...

* UK - Short B7R for Logans Travel
County Antrim,N.Irelandd,UK -Bus and Coach -12 March 2012: -- County Antrim based operator Logans Travel has taken delivery of its first Volvo B7R with Sunsundegui Sideral 10 bodywork. The 10.3m-long coach joins a predominantly Volvo/Plaxton fleet... The new coach is a 40-seater with a 7.1-litre 230bhp Volvo D7E engine. Logans Travel was founded 40 years ago and runs 22 Volvo coaches on private hire and tour work throughout the UK and Europe...

* USA / Europe - WABCO's OptiDrive, a Breakthrough in Modular Automated Manual Transmission Technology, Boosts Fuel Economy up to 5% for Commercial Vehicles

(Photo: Wabco Opti-Drive)
Brussels,Belgium/Louisville,KY,USA -MarketWatch(USA) -Mar 23, 2012: -- WABCO Holdings Inc., a global technology leader and tier-one supplier to the commercial vehicle industry, today announced that its OptiDrive system, a breakthrough in automated manual transmission technology, continues to gain global acceptance among major manufacturers of transmissions, trucks and buses... Superbly engineered as a modular system, OptiDrive reduces by 50 percent the development time required for transmission and original equipment manufacturers to apply it to their respective product platforms... WABCO's OptiDrive improves vehicle control and reduces fuel consumption by as much as five percent through optimized gear shifting...

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* China - BYD, Finnish Transport Group Partner on Electric Bus

(Photo BYD eBUS-12: First pure electric city bus to be deployed in Espoo city, outside of Helsinki)
Shenzhen,China -EV World -21 March 2012: -- BYD Co., Ltd (BYD), a leading-edge provider of green energy technologies based in Shenzhen, China, and Veolia Transport Finland Oy, a public transport operator that is setting the standard of innovative and sustainable mobility solutions in Finland, announced today a partnership to operate BYD’s electric bus in a world-class test bed for electric buses in Espoo city, part of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, the capital of Finland...



* Queensland - Varley Electric Vehicles to build electric buses in

(Photo: Brisbane Buses)
Brisbane,QNLD,Australia -Green Car Congress (USA) -20 March 2012: -- Varley Electric Vehicles has taken possession of a passenger bus from Brisbane City Council that it will retrofit with electric vehicle technologies as part of a multi-million dollar growth program for the company called Instant Charge Electric Bus... Varley Electric Vehicles is a division of The Varley Group, one of Australia’s oldest specialty vehicle manufacturers and has recently celebrated 125 years of service... With an expected range of 100 kilometers (62 miles) per full charge, the Instant Charge Electric Bus will run solely on batteries recharged by the electricity grid and will be distinctive in its ability to recharge its onboard battery to up to 80% capacity in less than 10 minutes using a buffered system that will have no direct impact on the electricity grid. The bus will be recharged with 100% renewable electricity...



* DC - Traveling by motor coach? Look Before You Book with the new SaferBus Mobile App

Washington,DC,USA -US DOT (PR) -20 March 2012: -- It is a great pleasure to announce that DOT is putting a terrific commercial bus safety tool in the hands of the people who can use it best: passengers... The SaferBus App delivers the latest bus safety information from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Safety Measurement System to your iPhone or iPad so before buying a bus ticket or while you're waiting to board, you can review the safety record of the bus line you're considering... The app is free and very simple to use. Just type in the bus company’s name or US DOT registration number, and a set of icons on your screen will indicate whether that company has crossed a safety threshold in any of five important categories. Drill down with one quick tap, and you can learn more about a company's safety record in each of our Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICS), including:
* Unsafe Driving...
* Fatigued Driving (Hours-of-Service)...
* Driver Fitness...
* Controlled Substances and Alcohol...
* Vehicle Maintenance...
The information the app sends to your mobile device covers the past 24 months of activity, and results are updated monthly...




* Germany - MAN announces city buses with Euro 6 exhaust technology

(Image: MAN Euro 6 citybus 2012)
Munich,Bavaria,Germany -BUSWORLD (Belgium) -1 March 2012: -- From January 2014 on, newly-registered commercial vehicles must comply with the Euro VI emissions standard. MAN is now the first manufacturer to present the new engines for city buses. One of the main things that the new Euro VI emissions standard will do is to decrease pollution due to fine particulates... Fine particulates are caused by combustion, for example in heating systems and also in diesel engines. By comparison with Euro V, the Euro VI standard reduces the permitted limit values for particulate by 66 percent. Then too, Euro VI requires the nitrogen oxides (NOx) emitted by diesel-powered commercial vehicles to be cut by another 80 percent. "Nitrogen oxides" is an umbrella term referring to all the oxidation states of nitrogen. Under the influence of sunlight, nitrogen oxides can, for example, form harmful ozone, which irritates the mucous membranes... Core component of this Euro 6 development is a two-stage exhaust silencer with CRT (Continuously Regenerating Trap) and SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) components used in this case in combination with the D2066 LUH engine in the city bus. This engine is fitted with exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR), in addition to the particulate filter system CRT and the SCR technology... MAN is the first manufacturer to present its Euro VI solution for the city-bus segment...

* Germany - VISEON to present the new Premium High-Decker model C12HD

Pilsting,Germany -Busworld (Belgium) -12 March 2012: -- For the first time in Turkey the German bus and coach manufacturer VISEON will present at Busworld Turkey with the new premium coach VISEON C12HD as well as the premium midi coach C10...  The VISEON C12HD is the first VISEON coach which has an even floor throughout for more standing room in the centre aisle, more headroom in the rows of seats and the possibility for individual seating concepts...

* Turkey - Otokar to exhibit its bus range at Busworld Kortrijk

Küçükyalı,Istanbul,Turkey -Otokar (PR) -19 October 2011: -- Otokar will participate to Busworld Kortrijik with its whole bus range from 5,8 meters to 12 meters. Otokar will exhibit three different models for city transportation: the ENTRO C; VECTIO C; and the 12 meters long, 290 HP, and 24 Seated+65 standing passenger capacity KENT C...  In interurban transportation will be displayed: the NAVIGO U; the VECTIO U; and the 12 meters long, 290 HP, and 51 Seated+25 standing passenger capacity TERRITO U...   For tourism transportation the NAVIGO T and 10 meters long VECTIO T with 35 passenger capacity will be exhibited at Otokar's stand...

* Turkey - Gürleryüz Karoseri present own brand buses "COBRA"

Bursa,Turkey -Busworld (Belgium) -13 March 2012: -- Guleryuz is a Turkish coachbuilder based in Bursa, which started the business by repairing coach bodies in 1967. At the beginning of 1999, the management of Güleryüz decided to continue with manufacturing buses under the company's own brand, and in 2000, the production of Cobra buses with own brand and accumulated own assets started, recording significant success in very short time... Güleryüz produces its buses according to Euro 5 emission standards...


R & D for BUSES

* USA - Luxfer to showcase AF cylinders and systems

Riverside,California USA -Busworld (Belgium)/luxfercylinders -February 2012: -- Luxfer Gas Cylinders, an international manufacturer of lightweight, fuel-efficient carbon composite cylinders and systems for containment of compressed natural gas (CNG), resulted in record sales in 2011 of lightweight, aluminium-lined carbon composite cylinders for containment of CNG, biomethane and other alternative fuels. The record sales followed the recent relocation of Luxfer’s aluminium liner and composite cylinder production facility to a state-of-the-art manufacturing complex in Riverside, California, USA...

* China - Yuchai inaugurates new gas engine development project

Yulin,Guangxi,China -Busworld (Belgium) -8 March 2012:  --  China Yuchai International Limited’s main operating subsidiary, Guangxi Yuchai Machinery Company Limited (GYMCL) has inaugurated a new project to develop and produce a full portfolio of natural gas powered engines to complement its existing suite of diesel engines. Customers will be offered a greater choice of GYMCL’s engines to meet their needs, especially in the large bus, mid- to heavy-duty truck, power generator and marine engine markets...  GYMCL will construct a new facility at its main facility at Yulin City, Guangxi Province, for the production of natural gas engines. It is expected to be operational in early 2013 with a capacity to produce 20,000 gas engines for a wide range of vehicles...



* Lithuania - Solaris 30 sells hybrid/biogas buses

Kaunas,Lithuania -15 March 2012: -- Two Lithuanian cities have chosen a total of 30 climate-friendly Solaris buses to renew their fleets over the coming months... In Kaunas, municipal operator Kauno Autobusai has chosen the environmental benefits of biogas. The sustainably produced fuel will be used to power 24 Solaris Urbino 12 CNG...  Panevėžio Autobusų Parkas runs city buses in the northern city of Panevėžys. The company has ordered six diesel-electric Solaris Urbino 12 Hybrid...  Solaris and Panevėžys will be jointly leading the way towards climate-friendly transport, with the Solaris Urbino 12 Hybrid set to be the first hybrid buses in Lithuania...



* China - Analysis of Bus market Production and Sales in Feb.

Beijing,China -China Buses, by Lily -13 March 2012: -- In February 2012, the production and  sales of Chinese buses including chassis respectively were 33,647 units and 32,990 units, which their production month-on month growth were 12.60% and and sales' 1.52 % and their year-on-year growth respectively were 61.69% and 39.24 %.

* Large Buses: The production and sales of Chinese large buses in February 2012, respectively were 4,464 units and 4,301 units, which their year-on-year growth respectively were 195.43 % and 139.61%. From Jan. to Feb. 2012, the production and sales of Chinese large buses respectively were 8,962 units and 9,016 units, which their production and sales' year-on-year growth respectively were 20.10% and 7.21 %.

* Medium Buses: The production and sales of Chinese medium buses respectively were 3,461 units and 3,288 units in February 2012, which their year-on-year growth respectively were 16.18% and 4.49%. From Jan. to Feb. 2012, the production and sales of Chinese medium buses respectively were 7,958 units and 8,100 units, which their production and sales' year-on-year growth respectively were 16.18% and 4.49%.

* Light Buses: The production and sales of Chinese light buses respectively were 20,807 units and 20,386 units in February 2012, which their year-on-year growth respectively were 48.65% and -7.45%. From Jan. to Feb. 2012, the production and sales of Chinese light buses respectively were 37,176 units and 37,664 units, which their production and sales' year-on-year growth respectively were 3.45% and -7.45%.



BUSMAKERS R & D - Canada

* Quebec invests $30 million in electric-vehicle manufacturing for international market

Montreal,Quebec,CAN -The Montreal Gazette/Jark Business, by J. Taylor -March 12, 2012: -- Public-private partnership to produce green buses ... The Quebec government announced on Wednesday that it was investing $30 million in an ambitious $73-million public-private project that plans to develop electric buses for the international mass-transportation market... The funding is intended to give the province a leg up over the competition and a chance to become an innovation leader in the burgeoning global electric-vehicle industry... The announcement was made by Quebec Premier, Jean Charest, Wednesday morning at the headquarters of St. Eustache-based Nova Bus, the main supplier of buses used on Montreal Island... A non-profit organization, Consortium Bus Electric, has been established to manage the project. The group plans to produce two different size aluminum electric-bus models... 


Public Transport * USA

* Mass transit use rises as gas prices soar

(Photo: Ridership on mass transit reaches second highest level since 1957 as gas prices soar)
New York,NY,USA -CNNMoney, by Steve Hargreaves -March 12, 2012: -- Ridership on the nation's trains and buses hit one of the highest levels in decades, with officials crediting high gas prices, a stronger economy and new technology that makes riding public transit easier... In 2011, Americans took 10.4 billion trips on mass transit -- which includes buses, trains, street cars and ferries, according to the American Public Transportation Association... That's a 2.3% increase over 2010 and just shy of the number of trips in 2008, when gasoline spiked to a record national average of $4.11 a gallon... Michael Melaniphy, president of APTA said gas prices near $4 a gallon tends to be the tipping point that pushes more people onto mass transit...




* Germany - Daimler Buses Launches Growth and Efficiency Offensive. Division achieves its second-highest sales result ever in 2011

(Photo: The new Mercedes-Benz Citaro)
Stuttgart,Germany -MBenz's (PR) -Mar 12, 2012: -- Daimler Buses achieved its second-best sales result ever in 2011, selling a total of 39,740 vehicles or 2% more than in the previous year. The division achieved this result despite difficult sales conditions for complete buses. The only time that sales were even higher was in 2008, when almost 40,600 units were delivered. As a result, Daimler Buses continues to be the world’s leading supplier of buses weighing more than 8 tons GVW...  311,000 buses were sold worldwide, an increase of 2% compared to the previous year...

* Swiss - Mercedes-Benz showcases its Vito E-CELL emissions-free people hauler

(Photo: The Mercedes Vito E-Cell will be available around Europe in May)
Geneve,Swiss -Gizmag, by Chris Weiss -March 9, 2012: -- It may not be the sexiest electric vehicle on display at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, but the Mercedes-Benz Vito E-Cell is definitely one of the hardest working...  The "crewbus" travels up to 80 miles (130 km), so it's not an effective people hauler for road trips or long airport shuttle routes - it's more comfortable on short commutes within city limits. Mercedes sees it as a useful tool for businesses, such as hotels that offer a shuttle around the city or tour buses for parks and nature preserves - essentially any business that needs to carry a van-load of people short distances and wants to cut emissions out of the equation. The van travels at speeds up to 55 mph (89 km/h), so it's definitely better off on city streets than the likes of the Autobahn... Though the production model will be available in a few months, Mercedes chose to focus on a transparent model in Geneva, giving attendees a look through the window of electric mobility. The show model uses LEDs to light up the path that electrons take from the 36 kWh lithium ion batteries to the 60 kW motor on the front axle...




* A123 announces plans to make battery packs for Tata hybrid buses

Mumbai,India -Autobloggreen, by Danny King -March 1st 2012: -- A123, the battery company that supplies lithium-ion battery packs, will produce battery packs for hybrid-electric buses made by Tata Motors, India's biggest automaker...  Tata represents at least the third new battery-making contract for A123 in the past couple of months...

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* Shenzhen - BYD may locate its factory in Windsor

Shenzhen,China -China Buses, by Lily -24 Feb 2012: -- Chinese green company BYD Bus, which has its North American headquarters in Los Angeles, has been in discussions for over a year with Mayor Eddie Francis and other local officials about primary manufacturing plant for electric buses in Windsor... The number of possible jobs will likely range between 100 to 500, he said, citing the rate of employment as being roughly equivalent to one job to each bus produced annually... BYD's electric bus was taken on a 15-city tour recently that included Windsor and Toronto (ONT/Canada), Washington and Los Angeles (USA)...  The bus costs roughly 20 per cent more than a natural gas hybrid bus, but offers savings through having no fuel costs. A bus can operate all day on a single charge. The company's only other electric bus manufacturing plant is located in China and produces roughly 1,000 vehicles per year, he said...

* Shanghai - Sunlong signed a cooperative agreement with Vibracoustic

Shanghai,SH,China -China Buses, by Lily -24 Feb 2012: -- Sunlong Bus and Germany Vibracoustic signed an strategic cooperative agreement... According to the agreement, both sides will further cooperate and exchange various technical skills in the damping system products etc... In addition, the two sides also keep the regular communication of companies' top executives to set up information sharing platform and constantly improve cooperation relationship between development of strategic cooperation agreement... Vibracoustic is wholly-owned subsidiaries by the Freudenberg Group which is a Germany-based company that supplies seals, vibration control technology components, filters, nonwovens, release agents and lubricants to almost all of the world’s car manufacturers. Under the Freudenberg Group, Vibracoustic now become the NO.1 in the air suspension industry. In China, only 20%-30% of the buses use the air suspension in it...

* Jiangxi - Shangrao Coach Company Secures Big Orders in February

(Image: Shangrao school bus Jiangxi B-Energy)
Shangrao,Jiangxi,China -China Buses, by Song -24 Feb 2012:  --  Unlike slack season in previous February, Shangrao Coach Company has made its 600 workers rush out for school bus orders since the third day of the lunar year. In February, the company delivers over 200 school buses, increasing 50% over last February...  Cooperating with Chinese Academy of Sciences on new-energy buses, Shangrao Coach Company secured many big overseas orders for high-end buses. With over 40 models of school buses in national bulletin, Shangrao Coach sold nearly 1000 school buses last year, ranking No.5...

* USA - School bus maker to build plant in China

Fort Valley,GA,USA -Automotive News China -28 Feb 2012: -- Blue Bird Corp., a U.S. school bus maker, plans to build an assembly plant with Xiamen Fentai Bus & Coach Co., a Chinese company, in the east China city of Xiamen...  The U.S. company said it wants to partner with Xiamen Fentai to build a plant in the city's Haichang district. The plant would produce up to 20,000 school buses a year...

* China - Smith Electric Vehicles and Wanxiang Group to build electric school buses in

Xiaoshan District,Hangzhou,China -Charged EVs (USA), by Charlie Morris -28 Feb 2012: -- Smith Electric Vehicles and Chinese auto parts maker Wanxiang Group announced this morning that they will from a joint venture to manufacture electric school buses and commercial vehicles in China. The companies signed a letter of intent at the US-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum in Los Angeles...  The EVs will be sold under the Smith brand, and will combine Wanxiang’s components with Smith’s proprietary drive and battery platforms. The Smith Drive system features a configurable drive controller with integrated inverters for the management of auxiliary systems, as well as a brushless permanent magnet motor. The Smith Power battery system uses battery cells of various sizes from Valence and A123... Smith currently manufactures the Newton and Edison electric commercial vans...