New Flyer increasing range of Xcelsior CHARGE NG™ vehicles by adding additional battery strings

Oct. 10, 2023
The addition of the seventh and eighth battery strings to the Xcelsior CHARGE NG raises the total capacity of the bus’s energy storage system by 33 percent.

New Flyer of America Inc., a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc. (NFI), has increased the range of its 60-foot zero-emission, battery-electric Xcelsior CHARGE NG™ by including additional battery strings. New Flyer will begin demonstrations this month with a newly outfitted eight-string Xcelsior CHARGE NG 60-foot model.

The addition of the seventh and eighth battery strings to the Xcelsior CHARGE NG raises the total capacity of the bus’s energy storage system by 33 percent, resulting in the addition of approximately 46 more miles of range per charge. The additional range provided by these new battery options, combined with the large passenger capacity of the 60-foot model, makes it ideal for use in high-volume traffic routes and bus rapid transit (BRT).

“The needs of transit agencies are as varied as the communities they serve and New Flyer prides itself on building the kind of collaborative partnerships necessary to fulfill those demands,” said Chris Stoddart, president, NFI. “The viability of transit solutions such as BRT's depends on the availability of vehicles that can meet the service requirements they create. These new battery options on the Xcelsior CHARGE NG 60-foot bus allow NFI to address those requirements and the continuously growing demand for long-range zero-emission transit.”

New Flyer launched the Xcelsior® bus platform in 2010 and leverages the design to create commonality across propulsion systems and allow customers to reduce expenses for parts, service and training. New Flyer’s first battery-electric bus built on the platform, the Xcelsior CHARGE®, was launched in 2017, and the latest model, the Xcelsior CHARGE NG, was unveiled in March 2021.

In 2016, the battery-electric Xcelsior CHARGE was the first 60-foot, zero-emission heavy-duty transit bus to undergo testing at the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) proving grounds in Altoona, Pa. In 2022, the eight-string 60-foot battery-electric demonstration model returned to Altoona for safety testing, including lane change and brake testing. Currently, New Flyer has logged more than 15 million electric vehicle service miles, establishing itself at the forefront of zero-emission transit.

“The increasing demand for zero-emission vehicles creates a growing list of new opportunities and challenges for transit agencies and manufacturers to tackle every day. The extended range offered by this new battery configuration is one of the ways New Flyer is rising to meet those challenges, supporting transit operators in their transition to zero emissions,” said Jennifer McNeill, vice president of public sector sales and marketing, New Flyer and Motor Coach Industries. “Owning a demonstration model with this newly extended range brings the theoretical applications for this vehicle into the real world and gives New Flyer the opportunity to prove the capabilities of our zero-emission buses.”

The Xcelsior CHARGE NG buses incorporate three distinct technologies, including high-energy batteries, advanced protective battery packaging for easy installation and simple serviceability and a lightweight electric traction drive system.