Bradenton, FL (March 8, 2007)
The School District of Manatee County in Bradenton, Fla., will become the first school district in the country to receive hybrid school buses through the Plug-In Hybrid Electric School Bus Project. Manatee School District’s two hybrid school buses are part of the 19 hybrid buses awarded nationwide by Advanced Energy, a non-profit corporation that initiated a buyer’s consortium of school districts, state energy agencies and student transportation providers.
The hybrid school buses, manufactured by the leading school bus manufacturer IC Corporation and hybrid drivetrain manufacturer Enova Systems, provide 70-100 percent better fuel economy and a 90 percent reduction in diesel engine emissions. Officials from the School District of Manatee County will be presented with the revolutionary new buses during a press conference at Braden River High School at 10 a.m. ET on Friday, March 9.
"We are proud to be pioneers in this exciting new area of transportation technology which will help us field a more fuel efficient bus fleet that produces less harmful emissions," said Manatee Schools Superintendent Roger Dearing. "This provides a powerful example to our students and community about the need to take positive action when it comes to addressing our nation's energy and environmental challenges."
While the exterior of the school bus looks the same, it is powered with innovative new technology. The hybrid school bus project features Enova's Charge Depleting System (or "Plug In"), which was extensively tested and evaluated at IC Corporation’s research and technology facility in Fort Wayne, Ind. With an overnight charge, this system utilizes a larger battery based on advanced battery chemistry that provides stored energy intended to be drawn down over the driving cycle, thus optimizing fuel economy. Depending on the route, fuel economy is expected to improve by 70-100 percent. The hybrid system can also reduce emissions by up to 90 percent.
“This project provides operational benefits to school districts, while also providing the reduced emissions desired by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a valuable return on investment to school boards,” said Ewan Pritchard, P.E., Advanced Energy’s hybrid program manager.
The initial powertrain for the hybrid school bus will couple an International® VT365 V8 diesel engine with the 25/80-kilowatt hybrid-electric powertrain, incorporating a transmission, batteries and an electric motor. The system is based on a parallel architecture, allowing the system to utilize both diesel and electric power in a highly efficient manner.
“Enova’s unique Post Transmission System offers a non-invasive solution to enter the hybrid vehicle market in either the retrofit or new vehicle segment,” said Mike Staran, Enova’s Executive Vice President. “The system is comprised of a proprietary AC induction electric motor, controller and energy management system and is designed and engineered as a total production ready solution.”
The hybrid school buses are also outfitted with a proprietary GPS system called AWARE TM Vehicle Intelligence that allows school officials to track the exact location and performance of the school bus via a password-protected site on the Internet.
“IC Corporation’s hybrid school bus revolutionizes the school bus industry,” said Michael Cancelliere, vice president and general manager of IC Corporation. “Improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions helps school districts and the environment. IC Corporation is committed to environmental leadership and delivering value to our customers.”
Later this, year other school districts around the country will be receiving the remaining 17 IC Corporation hybrid school buses awarded in Advanced Energy’s bid.
About IC Corporation
IC Corporation is a wholly owned affiliate of Navistar International Corporation (OTC: NAVZ). The nation’s largest integrated manufacturer of school buses, IC Corporation is a leader in passenger protection, chassis design, engines and ergonomics. The company is also a producer of commercial buses. All IC Corporation buses are sold, serviced and supported through a renowned dealer network that offers an integrated customer program encompassing parts, training and service. Additional information is available site at: www.ic-corp.com.
About Enova Systems, Inc.
Enova Systems (AMEX: ENA and AIM: ENV and ENVS) is a leading supplier of efficient, environmentally friendly digital power components and systems products. The Company's core competencies are focused on the development and commercialization of power management and conversion systems for mobile and stationary applications. Enova applies unique 'enabling technologies' in the areas of alternative energy propulsion systems for light and heavy-duty vehicles as well as power conditioning and management systems for distributed generation systems. The Company develops, designs and produces drive systems and related components for electric, hybrid-electric, and fuel cell powered vehicles. For further information, contact Enova Systems directly, or visit its Web site at www.enovasystems.com.
About Manatee County Schools
Bordered on the north by Tampa Bay, and to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, the Manatee County School District is home to more than 42,000 students and over 7,000 employees. The district operates 33 elementary, 9 middle and 7 high schools along with two vocational/technical campuses. The mission of the Manatee County School District is to inspire our students with a passion for learning, empowered to pursue their dreams confidently and creatively while contributing to our community, nation and world. www.manateeschools.net
About Advanced Energy
Advanced Energy is a Raleigh-based nonprofit corporation that enables utility customers to improve returns on their energy investments. The corporation also strives to create environmental, economic and societal benefits through innovative and market-based approaches to energy. The Hybrid Electric School Bus Project represents a collaborative effort among many parties to improve the nation’s air quality. The project has demonstrated that industry, government and non-profits can successfully work together to improve the environment and encourage the economy.