Earlier this year, this 40-foot test bus accumulated almost 14,000 miles over a ten-week period “shadowing” Winnipeg Transit buses to mimic stop-and-go conditions in regular service in order to fully test the various systems on the bus. Xcelsior will now be operated daily transporting passengers on several routes during July 2010, and the company is collecting feedback from passengers and Winnipeg Transit drivers and mechanics.
New Flyer first introduced an Xcelsior prototype in October 2008. The bus was designed by New Flyer’s Winnipeg-based New Product Development Team to be a best-in-class bus and incorporates many new, innovative features to improve the passenger and driver experience, accessibility, ease of maintenance and lifecycle costing. Xcelsior was designed to be lightweight, which improves fuel economy, and to be quieter than conventional buses. Additionally, Xcelsior is the first transit bus in North America to have LED headlights and an electronic instrument panel. Xcelsior will be offered in various lengths and with numerous propulsion system options ranging from clean diesel, electric trolley, hybrid-electric and natural gas and can be used for both conventional bus routes and Bus Rapid Transit or ‘BRT’ service.
“Xcelsior is the product of 80 years of bus manufacturing experience and nearly three years of design and engineering by a cross-functional New Flyer team,” said Paul Soubry, New Flyer’s President and CEO. “The team, which included new product development, engineering, production, sales and marketing, established project objectives based on customer needs and measured the progress against these objectives at every phase of the project.”
The commitment to these objectives has paid off, and the results are being validated by external stakeholders and third party organizations. An Xcelsior bus spent six months at the Bus Research and Testing Center in Altoona, PA, where 12 years of operation was simulated on a test track. In this independent, third party testing, New Flyer’s 40-foot Xcelsior recorded the best ever fuel performance and the lowest interior and exterior noise levels. In a recent road test in Minnesota, passengers gave high ratings to many of the design features, including: styling, improved accessibility, better visibility, increased head room, and interior lighting and temperature.
Production of the new Xcelsior line began earlier this year, with Brampton, ON as the launch customer ordering 25 Hybrid-Electric models to be operated in their new BRT service branded “ZUM” that starts in September, 2010. Additional orders for up to 389 Xcelsiors have been placed by New Haven, CT; Waterbury, CT and Atlanta, GA. Xcelsior buses in 35-foot and 60-foot configurations are currently under development. New Flyer’s fleet of demonstration vehicles is actively touring Canada and the US visiting transit systems and industry trade shows and events.
About New Flyer
New Flyer (newflyer.com) is the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses in the United States and Canada. The Company’s three facilities -- in Winnipeg, MB, St. Cloud, MN and Crookston, MN - are all ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certified. With a skilled workforce of over 2,000 employees, New Flyer is a technology leader, offering the broadest product line in the industry, including drive systems powered by clean diesel, LNG, CNG and electric trolley as well as energy-efficient gasoline-electric and diesel-electric hybrid vehicles. All products are supported with an industry-leading, comprehensive parts and service network. The Company’s income deposit securities are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol NFI.UN.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements relating to expected future events and financial and operating results of New Flyer and New Flyer Industries Canada ULC (“NFI ULC”) that involve risks and uncertainties. Although the forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based upon what management believes to be reasonable assumptions, investors cannot be assured that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements, and the differences may be material. Actual results may differ materially from management expectations as projected in such forward-looking statements for a variety of reasons, including market and general economic conditions and the other risks and uncertainties discussed in the materials filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities and available on SEDAR at sedar.com. Due to the potential impact of these factors, New Flyer and NFI ULC disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required by applicable law.