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  Busline News September 2020
Click here for complete current print issue of Busline Magazine

By Rick Mullen,
Busline Magazine Associate Editor

The following import/export categories include motor buses, coaches, trolley buses and gyrobuses.

The U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Census Bureau trade figures for June 2020 indicated vehicle imports were down in five categories outlined, compared to June 2019. For the first half of 2020, vehicles imports were down in seven categories, compared to the first half of 2019.

IMPORTS

8702103100 Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With Only Comp-Ign Internal Combustion Piston Engine (Diesel Or Semi-Diesel), Designed For Transport Of 16 Or More Persons, Incl

The United States imported 104 vehicles in June 2020, down 57 percent from 242 vehicles imported in June 2019. For the first half of 2020, the United States imported 716 vehicles, down 46 percent from 1,322 vehicles for the first half of 2019.

Canada sent 531 vehicles to the United States during the first half of 2020, while Mexico shipped 130 vehicles.

The average price per vehicle for June 2020 was $218,178.80, down 22 percent from $280,188.19 for June 2019. The average price per vehicle for the first half of 2020 was $288,779.36, down 10 percent from $320,977.27 for the first half of 2019.

8702106100 Public-Transport Passenger Vehicles For Transport Of 10 Or More Persons With Only Comp-Ign Internal Combustion Piston Engine (Diesel Or Semi-Diesel), Other

The United States received three vehicles in June 2020, compared to 211 in June 2019. For the first half of 2020, the United States imported 105 vehicles, down 90 percent from 1,089 vehicles for the first half of 2019.

The United States imported 98 vehicles from Germany during the first half of 2020.

The average price per vehicle in June 2020 was $257,070, compared to $42,771.11 for June 2019. The average price per vehicle for the first half of 2020 was $66,698.53, up 62 percent from $41,252.51 for the first half of 2019.

8702203100 Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With Comp-Ign Internal Combustion Piston Engine (Diesel Or Semi-Diesel), And Electric Motor Designed For Transport Of 16 Or More Persons

The United States imported 16 vehicles in this category during June 2020, up 100 percent from eight vehicles for June 2019. During the first half of 2020, 105 vehicles were imported, down 38 percent from 169 vehicles for the first half of 2019.

All the vehicles were imported from Canada, during the first half of 2020.

The average price per vehicle for June 2020 was $239,337.19, up 84 percent from $129,944.88 for June 2019. The average price for the first half of 2020 was $247,443.55, up 8 percent from $228,360.75 for the first half of 2019.

8702303100 Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With Spark Ignition Internal Combustion Piston Engine And Electric Motor For 16 Or More Persons

The United States imported no vehicles in this category during June 2020 or June 2019. Four vehicles were imported during the first half of 2020, up 50 percent from two vehicles for the first half of 2019.

Canada sent three vehicles, while Mexico exported one vehicle.

The average price per vehicle for the first half of 2020 was $167,341.75, compared to $15,200 for the first half of 2019.

8702306100 Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With Both Spark Ignition Internal Combustion Piston Engine and Electric Motor for 10 to 15 Persons

The United States imported no vehicles in this category during June 2020 or June 2019. One vehicle was imported during the first half of 2020 from the United Kingdom, at a price of $8,357.

8702403100 Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With Electric Motor Only, For Transport Of 16 Or More Persons Including Driver

The United States imported eight vehicles during June 2020, down 74 percent from 31 vehicles for June 2019. During the first half of 2020, 63 vehicles were received, down 77 percent from 275 vehicles for the first half of 2019.

China shipped 36 vehicles during the first half of 2020, while Canada sent 24 vehicles.

The average price per vehicle for June 2020 was $181,564.25, down 6 percent from $193,579.45 for June 2019. The average price for the first half of 2020 was $65,067.79, down 45 percent from $117,615.45 for the first half of 2019.

8702406100 Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles, With Electric Motor Only For Propulsion, NESOI

The United States imported 16 vehicles during June 2020, up 45 percent from 11 vehicles for June 2019. During the first half of 2020, 62 vehicles were imported, down 2 percent from 63 vehicles for the first half of 2019.

China sent all of the vehicles during the first half of 2020.

The average price per vehicle for June 2020 was $8,690.69, down 2 percent from $8,856.27 for June 2019. The average price per vehicle for the first half of 2020 was $9,598.18, up 20 percent from $7,966.24 for the first half of 2019.

8702903100 Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles For 16 Or More Persons Including Driver, NESOI

The United States imported 113 vehicles during June 2020, down 16 percent from 134 vehicles for June 2019. During the first half of 2020, 619 vehicles were received, down 5 percent from 653 vehicles for the first half of 2019.

Canada sent 616 vehicles to the United States during the first half of 2020.

The average price per vehicle for June 2020 was $96,282.65, up 6 percent from $90,615.79 for June 2019. The average price per vehicle for the first half of 2020 was $103,820.80, up 52 percent from $68,408.40 for the first half of 2019.

8702906100 Motor Vehicles For The Transport Of 10 To 15 Persons Including Driver, NESOI

The United States imported 35 vehicles during June 2020, down 85 percent from 235 vehicles for June 2019. During the first half of 2020, 289 vehicles were received, down 62 percent from 769 vehicles for the first half of 2019.

Canada sent 164 vehicles to the United States during the first half of 2020, while Germany exported 105 vehicles.

The average price per vehicle for June 2020 was $42,318.51, up 9 percent from $38,672.51 for June 2019. The average price per vehicle for the first half of 2020 was $45,833.64, up 10 percent from $41,726.61 for the first half of 2019.

EXPORTS

Export totals for June 2020 were down in all four categories, compared to June 2019. For the first half of 2020, two categories reported increases.

8702100002 Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With A Compression-Ignition Internal Combustion Piston Engine (Diesel Or Semi-Diesel) Only

The United States exported 552 vehicles during June 2020, down 11 percent from 617 vehicles exported in June 2019. During the first half of 2020, 3,170 vehicles were sent, down 7 percent from 3,407 vehicles for the first half of 2019.

Canada received 1,619 vehicles during the first half of 2020, while Mexico imported 1,127.

The average price per vehicle for June 2020 was $71,776.60, down 8 percent from $77,905.49 for June 2019. The average price per vehicle for the first half of 2020 was $67,234.38, down 2 percent from $68,288.23 for the first half of 2019.

8702200000 Public-Transport Vehicles With Both Compression-Ignition Internal Combustion Piston Engine (Diesel Or Semi-Diesel) & Electric Motor

The United States shipped 11 vehicles in June 2020, compared to 267 vehicles for June 2019. During the first half of 2020, 192 vehicles were exported, down 91 percent from 2,082 vehicles for the first half of 2019.

Canada received 91 vehicles during the first half of 2020, while Nigeria imported 46 vehicles, and Mexico 23 vehicles.

The average price per vehicle for June 2020 was $12,385, down 56 percent from $28,124.75 for June 2019. The average price for the first half of 2020 was $44,026.48, up 57 percent from $28,130.27 for the first half of 2019.

8702300000 Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With Both Spark Ignition Internal Combustion Piston Engine & Electric Motor

The United States exported 22 vehicles in June 2020, down 12 percent from 25 vehicles for June 2019. During the first half of 2020, 297 vehicles were sent, up 86 percent from 160 vehicles for the first half of 2019.

Mexico received 203 vehicles during the first half 2020.

The average price per vehicle for June 2020 was $23,257.59, down 52 percent from the average price for June 2019 of $48,732.92. The average price for the first half of 2020 was $31,817.41, down 6 percent from $33,882.93 for the first half of 2019.

8702400000 Public-Transport Type Passenger Motor Vehicles With Only Electric Motor For Propulsion

The United States shipped 2 vehicles in June 2020, compared to 167 vehicles for June 2019. During the first half of 2020, 1,360 vehicles were exported, compared to 349 vehicles for the first half of 2019.

Canada received 1,340 vehicles during the first half of 2020.

The average price per vehicle for June 2020 was $169,226, compared to $30,128.21 for June 2019. The average price per vehicle for the first half of 2020 was $35,359.61, up 20 percent from $29,486.86 for the first half of 2019.




Click on statistics to open .pdf file


From ABC
Final Testing Taking Place On Diesel To Electric Repowered Coach


“ABC is truly going ‘back to the future’ as we perform final testing on the industry’s first diesel to electric repowered motorcoach. The 2012 Van Hool (pictured above) has been transformed into the 100 percent battery electric powered T2145E,” said ABC.

“Adding to the growing ABC portfolio of all electric vehicles, the T2145E will offer more choices to customers who are focused on reducing their carbon footprint.”

ABC will be offering more updates on how the T2145E is making the conversion to electric travel more affordable.­

For more information, visit abc-companies.com.


Increased Range, Cooler System Temps
Voith Brings New Electric Drive System To North America

After more than 20 years refining drivetrain control technology in the fields of urban trains, variable speed drives, steam turbines as well as various hybrid systems for city bus applications, Voith has announced the launch of its Voith Electrical Drive System (VEDS) in the North American market, including the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

“Compared to existing electrical drive systems, the VEDS system offers an increased range, both in heavy urban traffic, and at highway speeds, cooler system temps that improve the life of components, and a reduction in the total cost of ownership for our customers,” said Luiz Soares, business development manager, Americas, Voith Turbo North America. “In addition, this is the first electrical drive system on the market that includes components that are all compliant with automotive standards.”

Significant Increase In Total System Efficiency

The VEDS system has seen industry-leading results, including a more than 95.5 percent total system efficiency. With the VEDS system, Voith has mastered both the performance of the proprietary three-phase permanent magnet electric motor (IPMSM), as well as the thermal management of the drive inverter. The combination of best-in-class motor design and proprietary thermal management algorithm for the inverter allow the motor to produce 3,100 Newton-Meters (Nm) peak torque and more than 340 kilowatts (kW) peak power. The motor has a continuous power rating of more than 240 kW. The efficiency of the motor reaches more than 97 percent at the peak while Voith’s drive inverter achieves over 99 percent efficiency. The result is a system efficiency that stays above 94 percent throughout 70 percent of the operational range of the drive system.                                     

Unlike in the traditional world of internal combustion engines where a 1 percent increase in efficiency equates to a 1 percent improvement in fuel economy, efficiency increases are not linear with electric buses. A 1 percent increase in system efficiency of an electric bus could result in a much higher percentage improvement in energy consumption. This is possible because the complete system is less stressed due to better thermal stabilization, and several key components such as air compressors, cooling systems, HVAC, etc., are able to idle for longer periods of time.

In addition to industry-leading efficiency, VEDS also offers full torque availability from a standstill and motor power regeneration up to 100 percent.

Results From In The Field

The benefits of VEDS have been shown with buses running in operation in Europe. Buses with VEDS are experiencing energy consumption of less than 1 kWh/km (1.6 kWh/mile) on average for a 40-foot bus. Similar buses using existing systems are reporting 2.0-2.5 kWh/mile using the Altoona test cycle, which indicates the potential improvements possible by using the VEDS system.

“We are excited to bring such an innovative solution to the market but we’re not stopping here,” said Soares. “In the near future, we hope to share results from incorporating VEDS on the first 60-foot EV bus in the U.S. market. We’re always striving to increase efficiency for our customers, and set new standards in the industry.”

For more information, visit voith.com.


High Voltage Li-Ion Battery Systems For Industrial And Commercial
Vehicles By American Battery Solutions


Even with the challenges posed during 2020, the markets for electrified light, medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles con­t­inue to grow at a steady pace. Lithium-ion battery technology has continued to see improved performance and safety, while costs continue to drop. The commercial vehicle industry is now taking advantage of these benefits as the high-volume automotive markets begin taking off.

“Our team at American Battery Solutions (ABS) is comprised of some of the best battery systems experts in the industry with decades of experience in designing, developing, and manufacturing advanced battery systems. Collectively, we have helped launch many of the most well know electrification programs with OEM customers like General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, BMW, Daimler-Mercedes, and others. We are now applying this know-how to the emerging underserved non-automotive markets,” said ABS.

“ABS is dedicated to U.S.-based manufacturing of the highest quality. The company has an established 170,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Ohio, and an extensive engineering facility and technical center in Michigan — acquired from Bosch Battery Systems. This is one of the largest dedicated battery pack manufacturing facilities in North America.

“All of these qualifications make ABS a trusted partner to power the next generation electric vehicle fleets. We have applied our experience and expertise from automotive battery systems to develop batteries with the utmost safety, reliability and ease of use. ABS is launching a series of both standardized battery pack solutions and custom designed solutions to serve this market. Look for more info in the coming months.

“These commercial vehicle batteries will follow the successful launch of our low voltage ALLIANCE Intelligent Battery Series™ that provide the highest quality cells, automotive-grade electronics, and high-quality U.S.-based manufacturing in a robust IP67 package. They take the worry out of Li-ion selection for low voltage applications.”

For more information, call 248-462-6364, email info@americanbatterysolutions.com, or visit americanbatterysolutions.com.

Article Courtesy of American Battery Solutions, Inc.


On Select Chassis
LiquidSpring® Now Provides Four-Corner Kneeling


“LiquidSpring is now available on both front and rear axles as an integrated smart suspension system on select chassis. This makes four-corner kneeling a new possibility. An early customer taking advantage of this kneeling upgrade is the shuttlebus company ARBOC, that has added it as an upgrade available on its Spirit of Mobility model. This allows for the entire bus platform to be lowered for easy access with no giant step-up for riders, a feature especially appreciated by the elderly and other passengers with accessibility issues. Rear suspension-only models could also kneel, but that was not always helpful for the front-loading doors of a shuttlebus,” said the company.

“The LiquidSpring CLASS® suspension system was originally offered as a rear suspension only. From variable loading weights to lessening jolts passed along the frame from front to back, the rear suspension is still the standard product from LiquidSpring and provides major support to the smart suspension system. All front axle suspension systems must be accompanied by a matching rear suspension system for connectivity.

“In addition to four-corner kneeling, the optional front suspension upgrade offers further improvement to ride and handling. It also notably provides even more driver comfort by reducing felt vibration on rough roads. The front suspension, being underneath the driver, is a large contributor to the shaking sensation felt through the seat and steering wheel of the vehicle. LiquidSpring’s improved absorption of these forces reduces felt vibrations significantly, giving drivers a more luxurious and safer feel to the ride.”

A Liquid-Springs press release stated, “Founded over 20 years ago, LiquidSpring began building suspensions for large off-highway mining equipment where they pioneered a unique system to help reduce operator injury in extreme conditions. The new strut was filled with a pressurized compressible liquid capable of supporting vehicle load and damping in a single element. Today, LiquidSpring continues to develop suspension products for other Class 3-7 on-highway trucks for various markets such as EMS, transit and school bus, recreational vehicle and work truck. The company provides application engineering, manufacturing, distribution, service and sales of its products throughout the world.”

Visit LiquidSpring.com to learn more.


From MCI
United House Of Prayer For All People Takes Delivery Of New MCI J4500s

Motor Coach Industries (MCI) delivered two new MCI J4500 coaches to United House of Prayer for All People. The church, under the leadership of the Honorable Bishop C. M. Bailey, and now marking its 100th anniversary, is headquartered in the District of Columbia, and has 137 places of worship in 27 states.

Its two new 54-passenger J4500 coaches are for private use, going to the church’s Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia locations. The first voyage for the coaches will transport congregants for meetings and worship opportunities planned for a weekend convocation in Buffalo, NY. To protect passengers’ safety, the church is practicing distancing, leaving the first two rows empty, limiting onboard capacity, providing onboard hand-sanitizers and asking passengers to wear face masks. The coaches will also be disinfected before and after each passenger trip. Plus, on motor coaches, fresh air exchange and fresh air circulation is maximized throughout the cabin.

The United House of Prayer began buying MCI motor coaches decades ago and made its last purchase with MCI in 2011. These two new J4500 coaches bring the church’s fleet to 23 coaches, including two 40-foot D4500 models. Since its coaches are located at church sites throughout the U.S., United Church of Prayer uses MCI service centers across the country for maintenance and repair.

For more information about MCI, visit mcicoach.com.


Victor Valley Transit Celebrates Opening Of New Facility


Barstow Councilman and VVTA Board Member James Noble (left) with Barstow Utility Worker Dwayne Strandberg. Noble immediately saw the benefits of the new facility. “I am pleased
the new location is in an area where residents can utilize its services easier, and in talking with
the staff here, it meets their needs with new modern equipment. This facility looks fantastic.”

The Victor Valley Transit Authority (VVTA) has opened the doors to its new 5.5-acre facility in Barstow, CA, located on Route 66. Since VVTA merged with Barstow Area Transit in 2014, the previously leased facility was utilized beyond its design capability. As the need for transit has continued to grow year-after-year in Barstow, the new space was needed to facilitate current and future expansion and promote a livable, sustainable, and economically viable community in the Barstow area.

Construction on the 9,998-square-foot facility began in June 2019. Doors officially opened August 11, 2020.

One of the most significant benefits of the new facility is the location, which is adjacent to the Liquified Compressed Natural Gas (LCNG) and gas station, making it easier and quicker to fuel Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and gasoline operated vehicles. The new facility is also equipped with the proper flammable gas detection and ventilation system requirements for working on CNGVs.

The facility also features Wi-Fi in the service bay and yard, allowing mechanics to utilize tablets for inspections and repair manuals while working on the vehicles. In addition, this provides the opportunity for buses to utilize yard Wi-Fi to upload surveillance video footage instead of using mobile data.

Other benfits include three modern service bays, updated equipment, backup generator for power outages, a driver’s lounge, workout room, plus a brand-new lobby for the public to get route information, purchase TouchPass cards, passes, and more.

An official grand opening is planned for the coming months, once COVID-19 mandates have relaxed.




Coming in the Nov/Dec 2020
print issue of Busline
. . . . . . . . .

Busline Buyers
Guide To

Flooring

Busline Buyers
Guide To

Brakes
and Tires

Busline Vehicle Showcase:
Trolley Buses, Trams &
Street Cars


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