Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) and Daimler Buses have once again received orders for low-emission vehicles. Thomas Built Buses, Daimler Trucks North America’s school bus manufacturer, has received an order for 130 compressed natural gas (CNG) school buses. That’s the biggest contract for natural gas buses in the company’s history. The buses were ordered by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), and the vehicles are scheduled to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2010.
The LAUSD transportation services division only accepts bids for buses operating on alternative fuels. The district currently operates the largest CNG bus fleet in California, with more than 300 natural gas buses. Thomas Built CNG’s produce emission levels that are close to zero. The buses have complied with the U.S. EPA 2010 emissions standards since 2007 and also meet the state’s tough California Air Resources Board (CARB) limits.
“We welcome this opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to environmental stewardship and enhanced passenger safety,” says Kelley Platt, President and CEO of Thomas Built Buses. “LAUSD underscores its commitment to sound environmental strategies with its selection of 130 additional school buses that incorporate clean-fuel technologies.”
Customer acceptance of buses with alternative drive systems is also demonstrated by the orders for Orion-brand hybrid and CNG buses. Daimler Buses North America has so far obtained more than 3,000 orders for Orion buses with hybrid systems, and it delivered 25 Orion VII CNG transit buses to four transit agencies in California last month.
Besides natural gas drives, DTNA is also using other alternative drive systems, including hybrid technology, in commercial vehicles. Last month, Daimler Trucks North America delivered four medium-duty Freightliner Business Class M2 106 Hybrid trucks to the city of Denver. These aerial bucket trucks will be used for forestry, traffic signal, and traffic sign repair.
In June, DTNA also announced the opening of the Local Hybrid Application Center at its Portland location. It will serve as a local competence center for the research and development of hybrid technology in North America and supplement Daimler Trucks’ Global Hybrid Center in Japan.
The new contracts are part of Daimler’s “Shaping Future Transportation” initiative for commercial vehicles. With this initiative, the company aims to use clean and efficient drive systems along with alternative fuels in order to realize the vision of zero-emission commercial vehicles that will satisfy tomorrow’s transportation needs. The initiative involves the sparing use of resources and the reduction of emissions of every kind, while guaranteeing maximum traffic safety.