Daimler has announced that sales of its Orion VII diesel electric hybrid bus has now exceeded 3,000 units.  Of the 3,000 orders in, there are over 2,200 units already in use and some 850 additional orders on the backlog from municipalities in New York, Seattle, Houston, Ottawa, and even Puerto Rico.

Daimler is the worldwide leader in hybrid bus sales and have far surpassed the competition.  Houston Metro has 56 Orion VII hybrids in use right now, but they have already placed an additional order for 80 more to be filled by 2010 and 40 more expected next year.

The success of the Orion VII hybrid is noticeable as far away as Puerto Rico where they have placed an order for 40 of the unique buses to be put into service in 2010.

According to Hartmut Schick head of Daimler buses, "Daimlers remains committed to leading the hybrid bus market worldwide, and our subsequent orders in North America is evidence of the confidence our customers have in our buses and coaches.  Being the leader is a responsibility that we take seriously and remain committed to delivery leading edge and reliable products for our customers."

The Orion VII bus features a unique propulsion system that is described by the manufacturer as such, "The heart of the Orion VII diesel-electric hybrid bus is the HybriDrive(R) propulsion system manufactured by BAE Systems of Johnson City, N.Y. The system powers the bus with components arranged in series: 6.7L diesel engine from Cummins; a generator; an electric motor, and the Lithium-ion energy storage system. All of these components are optimized and configured for the Orion VII. The diesel engine is optimized to run at relatively constant speeds (acceleration/deceleration is accomplished by varying the speed of the electric motor, not the diesel) for maximum efficiency and clean operation."

A hybrid bus can greatly diminish the fuel usage for any municipality choosing to employ them.  New York City is the largest supporter of the Orion VII in the world as they currently have 1,250 in use with plans for 425 additional units within the next nine months which will make New York City Transit the largest hybrid fleet in the world.

Though Daimler success with the hybrid bus is evident, they are not going to rest on their laurels and remain confident in this proven technology.  Instead, they intend to continue development and research into more efficient models for the future. 

According to Andreas Stocker, CEO of Daimler Buses North America, "We are obviously pleased to be the first manufacturer of hybrid buses to reach the 3,000 unit mark, but we will not rest on our laurels, and as quickly as technology advances, it is very important for Daimler Buses to remain ahead of the curve in this industry."

Source:  PRNewswire