ARBOC buses now available in hybrid version. The NFI subsidiary is partnering with XL Fleet to offer a parallel hybrid electric bus option. The XL Hybrid system can immediately be ordered as an option on ARBOC Freedom low-floor buses sold through ARBOC’s North American dealer network, NFI makes public.
Wheelchair-accessible hybrid buses are built on the GM 4500 chassis and require no electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Earlier this year, ARBOC has launched its first fully accessible, battery-electric low-floor bus concept with the zero-emission Equess CHARGE (production expected to begin in Q4 2021).
ARBOC with XL Fleet for hybrid bus
XL Fleet and ARBOC Specialty Vehicles have announced a partnership to electrify ARBOC Freedom low-floor buses with the XL Hybrid (XLH) electric propulsion system. The wheelchair-accessible buses are built on the GM 4500 chassis and are now available for purchase with an installed XL Hybrid system through the ARBOC North American dealer network. ARBOC has sold 39 vehicles with the XL Hybrid system installed thus far in 2021.
Through the partnership, 24-foot and 29-foot (7.3 and 8.8 meter respectively) ARBOC low-floor bus models are available for the first time as hybrid electric units. The XL Hybrid electric system runs in parallel to the OEM vehicle drivetrain, helping to slow the vehicle down during deceleration and providing an electric assist during acceleration throughout normal drive cycles, reducing fuel consumption and lowering emissions in standard gas-powered vehicles.
NFI Group: there is no one-size-fits-all
“We are pleased to be announce this strategic partnership with XL Fleet to bring hybrid electric propulsion systems to our ARBOC Freedom low-floor buses,” said Paul Soubry, President and Chief Executive Officer, NFI. “As NFI continues to lead the evolution to zero-emission—the ZEvolution—we continue to look for creative solutions to bring the best low- and zero-emission products and solutions to our customers. Our strategy of being propulsion agnostic has served us well, as there is no one-size-fits-all approach for the evolution to zero-emission mobility. This strategic partnership will allow us to bring a new hybrid electric, accessible low-floor solution to operators who want to decrease their operating costs in a sustainable and equitable way.”
“The bus industry represents a substantial electrification opportunity for XL Fleet, and we are excited to gain access to a great new customer base by partnering with an accessible bus market leader like ARBOC,” said Dimitri Kazarinoff, Chief Executive Officer, XL Fleet. “This partnership allows us to expand our growing suite of products, broaden our customer reach, and bring new and unique solutions to market for bus fleets needing an immediate path forward for their sustainability goals.”
“The ARBOC Freedom is an innovative low-floor platform allowing riders using wheelchairs and other mobility devices to safely and comfortably get where they need to go. Now, they can do so in a cleaner, greener vehicle,” said Doug Minix, General Manager, ARBOC. “XL Fleet’s innovative hybrid electric upfit technology gives our customers an opportunity to drive more sustainable versions of the ARBOC vehicle lineup without compromising our reliability while enhancing our world-class performance.”