New Flyer buses to use batteries from ABS
13 October 2023
Pack production to take place in Ohio
American Battery Solutions (ABS) has signed a multi-year contract with bus manufacturer NFI Group Inc. to supply custom battery packs for New Flyer 35-, 40-and 60-foot battery-electric transit buses. NFI will launch ABS batteries into bus production for customer deliveries starting in the first quarter of 2024.
ABS said the market for electric buses in North America has passed the “tipping point, ”reaching more than 5,480 zero-emission transit buses on the road or on order as of the end of 2022, according to CALSTART’s annual “Zeroing in on ZEBs” report. NFI expects that 40% of its 2025 production will be zero-emission buses and is leading the evolution to zero-emission public transportation in North America.
“We are excited and proud to partner with NFI, a company at the forefront of electric-powered public transportation. This contract reflects NFI’s well-placed confidence in ABS’ ability to meet technical and performance requirements at a healthy volume with the competitive cost position,” said Subhash Dhar, ABS founder, chairman and CEO. “We have invested over $200 million in our state-of-the-art automated pack assembly line and facility, with the capacity to deliver the product NFI needs so that it can continue to lead the electrification of public transportation in North America.”
“Demand for battery-electric buses is accelerating, and NFI is leading the evolution to zero-emission public transportation in North America. Our partnership with ABS will provide NFI with the capacity, flexibility, and resiliency we need as we ramp up production at our facilities across North America,” said Paul Soubry, president and CEO, NFI. “ABS has made significant investments in their pack assembly and battery technology, providing NFI with industry leading solutions. We look forward to working together with ABS to advance battery technology within the public transportation industry.”
The scalable custom designed pack solution is based on the ABS ProLiance Intelligent Battery Series architecture and fits inside NFI’s existing battery enclosure design, providing an alternate source of supply for NFI’s battery-electric bus contracts and creating opportunity for technology enhancements.
Design and engineering have been led from ABS’ Michigan Innovation Center in Lake Orion, Mich., with the pack production scheduled to begin this year at ABS’ Springboro, Ohio, factory. ABS said it has secured the cell supply by partnering with world-class cell makers in a strategic alliance. The company said the partnerships resulted in the signing of long-term supply agreements that ensure cell supply through the end of the decade, supporting the NFI ramp up along with ABS’ other customer programs.
NFI’s battery and fuel cell-electric buses and coaches have collectively travelled over 120 million service miles, with NFI Infrastructure Solutions’ turnkey smart charging services delivering more than 410 chargers delivered to date. NFI reportedly has electric vehicles operating (or on order) in more than 140 cities in six countries.
NFI operates the Vehicle Innovation Center dedicated to advancing bus and coach technology and providing workforce development. Since opening in late 2017, the facility in Anniston, Ala., has hosted over 350 interactive events, reportedly welcoming 7,000 industry professionals for EV and infrastructure training.