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IC Bus Helps Emeryville, California Go Green With New Hybrid Commercial Buses

05/12/2009

EMERYVILLE, Calif., May 12, 2009 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ -- More than one third of the more than 5,000 daily riders who use the Emery Go Round shuttle will now be traveling to and from the city's business, retail and residential districts in fuel-efficient and emissions-reducing hybrid buses. The Emeryville Transportation Management Association (TMA) recently launched three new hybrid buses into service. IC Bus, North America's largest school bus and commercial bus manufacturer, delivered the energy-saving buses in March.

The Emery Go Round shuttle service has been the link between the regional light rail BART system and Emeryville for more than a decade, reducing traffic and congestion, as well as the energy consumption and carbon footprint of the city's 25,000 plus employees, 10,000 plus residents and visitors.

The new buses put Emeryville TMA at the forefront of the clean and green movement by providing its customers many advantages through the innovative technology used in these vehicles. Most importantly, the IC Bus HC Series Hybrid delivers the following environmental benefits:

    --  Up to 85 percent reduction in particulate matter
    --  Up to 35 percent reduction in NOx emissions
    --  Up to 32 percent improvement in fuel economy
    --  Up to 24 percent reduction in CO2
    --  Hybrid drive power provides an electric boost for hills or when rapid
        acceleration is needed. It also allows the bus to coast in pure hybrid
        mode while the engine idles to increase fuel economy.  Idle time is also
        reduced.
    --  Electronic regeneration recharges the battery and improves brake life.

When TMA officials first learned that IC Bus was launching a hybrid bus in 2006, they decided to test drive one of the early models.

"We liked that it was clean, green new technology. The bus we test drove was quiet, powerful and fuel-efficient. Both drivers and customers liked it," remembers Wendy Silvani, director of the TMA. When the first commercial bus went into production in early 2008, the TMA was one of the first in line to order one.

Even though the TMA's fleet of 12 is relatively new, the organization plans to replace or retrofit all of its buses within the next two years.

"We've already replaced our oldest (2002 model year) buses with the hybrids," Silvani noted, "and have retrofitted three vehicles." TMA is impressed so far with the hybrids' overall performance of the hybrid buses.

"We've seen more than a 30 percent improvement in fuel economy, along with substantial reductions in idle hours. We're anticipating additional maintenance savings with better brake wear because of the regenerative system, as well. Between the fuel and maintenance savings, we expect to see an ROI on the cost of the hybrid system in just a couple of years," Silvani added. "The buses are about as close to 'zero emissions' as we can get."

The TMA officials and drivers are excited about the new hybrid buses as they are committed to making the shuttle service more sustainable and adding a new dimension to their already modern and efficient fleet. Customers have also had a positive response to the new hybrid buses. They like the smooth ride, quiet operation and overall comfort of the bus.

TMA officials are not the only supporters of this greener initiative. Emeryville's mayor and city council members are greeting the new additions to the fleet with enthusiasm and are citing the TMA as a positive example of the city's movement to reduce carbon emissions.

The hybrid system, developed by Eaton Corporation, couples a diesel engine with a 44-kilowatt powertrain, incorporating a motor/generator, transmission and Li-ION batteries. The system recovers kinetic energy during regenerative braking, charging the batteries while the bus is slowing down. This provides additional power for acceleration, making the hybrid buses ideal for the shuttle routes because of the frequent starting and stopping along routes.

The new vehicles will be serviced through Creative Bus Sales, based in Chino, Calif., and the exclusive IC Bus dealer for the state.

"We feel the hybrid systems offered by IC Bus are the most proven and best backed in their class. Hybrid buses continue to gain in popularity and will command a significant market share in the future. The IC Bus hybrid design is an effective platform to ensure performance, low emissions and passenger comfort," said Tony Matijevich, president of Creative Bus Sales.

About IC Bus

IC Bus, LLC of Warrenville, Ill., is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Navistar, Inc. (NYSE: NAV). The nation's largest integrated manufacturer of school busses, IC Bus is a global leader in passenger protection, chassis design, engines and ergonomics. The company is also a producer of commercial buses. All IC Bus buses are sold, serviced and supported through a renowned dealer network that offers an integrated customer program encompassing parts, training and service. Additional information is available at www.icbus.com.

SOURCE IC Bus

http://www.icbus.com

Copyright (C) 2009 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

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