The air above Seattle, Washington is about to get a little bit cleaner as they have placed one of the largest orders to Daimler Buses North America for up to 500 diesel electric hybrid transit buses.

The fulfillment of this order will take several years, but Daimler will supply the first 93 of the Orion VII buses to Seattle by mid 2010.  Daimler has also received an order for 80 Orion VII buses from the city of Ottawa, Canada.

The orders show that there is strong demand for hybrid vehicles in the public transit system.  According to Daimler, 2,900 orders have been placed within North America for their diesel electric bus.  The sales volume is high enough that Daimler can undoubtedly say that it is North America's largest producer of hybrid buses, a claim that they can also make on the global level.

The Orion VII bus measures in at 40 feet in length and can carry 44 passengers.  The bus is powered by a 5.9 liter Cummins V6 diesel which generates power for the electric motors that propel the bus.

Daimler has stated that they are surprised by the strong demand for the hybrid bus, but are capable of meeting the unexpected demand in a timely manner.