Siemens Signs Agreement to Supply DesignLine with Electric Drive Propulsion System Components

Siemens has signed an agreement to supply DesignLine with electric drive propulsion system components which will be used on seven new all-electric buses being manufactured by DesignLine.

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Siemens Industry, Inc.’s Drive Technologies Division has finalized a supplier agreement to provide electric drive propulsion system components for Charlotte, NC-based DesignLine, a leading designer and manufacturer of commercial all-electric, range-extended electric and CNG buses.

Through this relationship with DesignLine, Siemens will provide Permanent Magnet Excited Motors (PEM), inverters and voltage protection modules to support the rear-axle drive systems of seven new all-electric buses being manufactured by DesignLine for the Montreal Transit Authority (STM).

In May, DesignLine announced a $5.9 million deal with STM for the purchase of all-electric “midi buses.” Capable of carrying 36 people, each midi bus will feature low floors for easy rider access, and will have a range of approximately 100 miles on a single charge. The buses, which are expected to be delivered by mid-2013, should operate in Old Montreal. The STM has strategic plans that call for more electric vehicles, thus helping to reduce and/or eliminate both noise levels and emissions.

Josh Anderson, EVP of Engineering for DesignLine comments that “DesignLine’s electric bus product line is enhanced through the rollout of our 30 foot Midibus EV line, using Siemens' latest technology in motors and inverters. Incorporating the Siemens PEM Drive components with DesignLine’s proven and proprietary EV system and latest vehicle design is a win for all of the project partners.”

“This partnership showcases the versatility and operating experience of Siemens hybrid offerings, and demonstrates our growth within this market segment – with more than 1,500 hybrid drive systems in operation worldwide,” says Thomas Orberger, hybrid drives business manager for Siemens Drive Technologies Division.

According to Orberger, hybrid and all-electric propulsion configurations are making more sense to transit organizations, as a municipal bus maintains many of the attributes that contribute to significant fuel savings in a hybrid or all-electric platform, including frequent stop and go operation, low average speeds and power consumption, stationary activities and high operating hours.

Within the next months, Siemens will localize the manufacturing and assembly of its hybrid traction drive components at the company’s Alpharetta, GA, plant. The facility currently employs approximately 700 employees and manufactures large traction drives used for transportation (light rail and heavy rail) and mining applications (trucks, shovels and draglines), low voltage drives for the water/wastewater, paper and metals industries in the NAFTA market.