Manitoba, Mitsubishi Hop On An E-Bus Together

Electric vehicle technology is now ubiquitous across pretty much all forms of transport. The latest mode of travel to get the all-electric treatment is this bus, adapted from a 40-foot heavy-duty transit coach by the Canadian company New Flyer Industries.

So far the company, based in Manitoba, has produced only a single prototype of the Xcelsior, which it developed alongside Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and the Manitoba provincial government.

new_flyer_xcelsior

image via New Flyer Industries

The bus is equipped with an electric drive and carry’s advanced lithium-ion batteries provided by Mitsubishi. New Flyer has over 80 years of experience making buses, according to its president and CEO, Paul Soubry.

In a statement Soubry said: “We have chosen to launch the electric bus prototype on the same bus platform into which New Flyer’s diesel, diesel-electric hybrid, compressed natural gas and electric trolley can be incorporated to give customers a variety of propulsion options for their fleet, while still providing them with standardization for operating cost optimization.”

The all-electric bus will undergo a further two years of testing with a view to then moving in to operation under select route conditions at the end of that period.

A number of countries around the world have begun replacing their old diesel mass transit systems with electric buses. In Europe the switch has been going on for some years. North America has been a little slower catching up.

Even so, another Canadian city has already claimed a public transport first for the region. The city of Windsor, Ontario, which sits directly across the Detroit River from Motown, recently announced that it has signed a letter of intent with China-based electric vehicle manufacturer BYD to supply the city with an electric bus fleet. In a recent press release, the city says the agreement will make Windsor the first city in North America to launch long-range, all-electric bus fleet.

Paul Willis has been journalist for a decade. Starting out in Northern England, from where he hails, he worked as a reporter on regional papers before graduating to the cut-throat world of London print media. On the way he spent a year as a correspondent in East Africa, writing about election fraud, drought and an Ethiopian version of American Idol. Since moving to America three years ago he has worked as a freelancer, working for CNN.com and major newspapers in Britain, Australia and North America. He writes on subjects as diverse as travel, media ethics and human evolution. He lives in New York where, in spite of the car fumes and the sometimes eccentric driving habits of the yellow cabs, he rides his bike everywhere.