Lightning Hybrids wins Boston-area hydraulic hybrid bus order

Lightning Hybrids wins Boston-area hydraulic hybrid bus order

Kiessling Transit orders 32 units to join existing fleet of 35 Ford hybrid vans.


Loveland, Colorado – Lightning Hybrids, developer and manufacturer of the Energy Recovery System (ERS) for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses, has won an order to nearly double the number of hydraulic hybrid buses operated by Massachusetts-based Kiessling Transit.

The order for 32 units follows an order last year from the Boston-area transit company for 35 units that were commissioned in September 2015. Those vehicles have recorded close to 1 million miles. The ERS has demonstrated improvements of 25% in fuel efficiency, and significantly reduced tailpipe emissions. In addition, Lightning Hybrids has identified ways to reduce vehicle idle time by up to 30%.

Kiessling Transit has received a grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that pays for 80% of the cost of the Lightning Hybrids’ systems to be installed on Kiessling Transit’s Ford E-450 passenger buses, making them cleaner, more fuel efficient, and improving braking efficiency. The ERS is a patented, parallel hydraulic hybrid system that has no electric batteries. Instead, it applies a hydraulic system to the driveline of a vehicle to regenerate braking energy. Hydraulic pumps and a lightweight accumulator brake the vehicle, store the energy, and then use that stored energy to provide power to the wheels.

“Our partnership with Kiessling Transit proves the benefits of our ERS both to fleets and to the communities they serve in terms of cleaner air and in reduced costs,” says Tim Reeser, president and co-founder, Lightning Hybrids. “Kiessling Transit is an innovative early adopter and was one of the first customers to trial our technology for over a year, in 2013, which they followed last year with our largest order at that time for 35 units.”

When put in service, the buses will provide an immediate positive impact on the environment due to the reduced emissions of the system. For example, vehicles with Lightning Hybrids’ technology produce half of the NOx emissions and 25% fewer CO2 emissions, compared to vehicles without the company’s system. In addition to these emissions reductions, the Kiessling fleet will see decreased fuel use, longer brake life, better low-end torque, and lower maintenance and operational costs.

“We are the only private transit fleet in Massachusetts running hybrid buses that do not pollute the air the way diesel and gasoline buses do,” says Roger Kiessling, chief operations officer, Kiessling Transit. “We are pleased with the reliability of the ERS and the customer service provided by Lightning Hybrids. We are focused on providing the most efficient, reliable, environmentally friendly transportation to the areas we serve, and this technology supports our goals.”

The hydraulic hybrid product was installed and is being maintained by Lightning Hybrids’ East Coast distributor, National Fleet Hybrids, located in Attleboro.

“The ERS technology is a much-needed addition to the medium- and heavy-duty vehicle market,” says Glen Perlman, president, National Fleet Hybrids. “It addresses the main concerns of our customers, which are managing fuel costs and addressing clean air standards.”

Source: Lightning Hybrids