DesignLine Corp., a designer and manufacturer of electric drive systems for the commercial bus market, announced yet another milestone today with its all electric bus, the Eco-Smart I, averaging up to 30 miles per gallon (diesel equivalent) in actual, daily passenger service while maintaining 100 percent up-time. These real world operating results are the true gauge of vehicle performance. The Eco-Smart I is the only all electric heavy-duty vehicle with over four years of daily, in-service operation verifying its superior performance.
Over 12 months ago DesignLine fielded a fleet of Eco-Smart I buses in one of the most demanding operating environments on the globe – the Middle East. While maintaining 100 percent up time through temperatures in excess of 125 F and the other environmental challenges of desert operation, the Eco-Smart I traveled over 150 miles on a single charge. This is the diesel equivalent of 30 miles per gallon or fuel costs of $0.13 per mile, representing over a 750 percent improvement over standard diesel buses.
“DesignLine electric buses excel in daily service overcoming the desert heat, high humidity and sand intrusion endemic to the Middle East region. No other electric vehicle has been able to provide continuous, daily service in our extreme operating conditions much less compete with DesignLine on operating performance. The reliability and performance of the DesignLine electric vehicle is in a class by itself,” said Duncan Peat, managing director of Liberty Automotive in the United Arab Emirates.
The superiority of the DesignLine electric drives is the direct result of a multi-year, over $30 million dollar research and development effort funded by an investment consortium led by Guggenheim Venture Partners. “Early on, Guggenheim Venture Partners recognized the technological superiority of the DesignLine electric drive system. We are pleased to lead a syndicate in a growth stage investment which has allowed DesignLine to refine its electric drive technology. DesignLine electric drives are now positioned as the industry leader in all objective performance measures,” said Darren C. Wallis of Guggenheim Venture Partners. Recent advancements include the integration of opportunity or boost charging to further extend operating range and permit 18 hours of continuous service.
“DesignLine is very proud of the accolades earned by the Eco-Smart I in real world operation. It continues to set the bar on overall performance against which all other electric buses are measured. Performance superiority can be found across the full line of our electric drive systems from the pure electric Eco-Smart I to the range extended electric Eco-Saver IV. With our focus on continuous improvement, DesignLine will be providing customers electric drives in the near future which yield even greater range and lower operating cost operation,” stated Brad Glosson, CEO of DesignLine Corp.
DesignLine’s environmentally friendly bus footprint already extends from the United States to Europe to the Middle East to Japan to Australia. New U.S. customers, Arlington, Va. and Denver, Colo., are adding DesignLine environmentally-friendly products to their fleet daily with other cities in the United States, Canada and the Middle East following suit later this year. Current demand for DesignLine products will require production of over 300 units next year.