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Moving Toward More Sustainable Transit

Vanner HBA UnitFrom being named the best mid-sized transit system in the country to hitting a new one-year record of 12.5 million rides, we’ve had a lot of milestones in the past year. Today we are happy to announce one more as we take an important step toward more sustainable public transit after receiving Vanner Incorporated’s 1,000th Hybrid Beltless Alternator (HBA®) on one of our new HBA® ready Gillig hybrid Silver Line BRT buses.

“Receiving this bus is very exciting for all of us at The Rapid,” explains Rapid CEO Peter Varga. “As the number one mid-sized transit system of the year we know other transit authorities are watching us and looking to see what we are doing right. I can say with confidence that our growing fleet of HBA® equipped hybrids is definitely one of those things we are doing right.”

Products like the HBA® are the result of healthy collaboration between Vanner and OEMs like Gillig. “Our goal is to produce the most reliable, durable and cost effective bus to maintain and operate and this advanced technology helps us do just that,” explains Joe Policarpio, Vice President for Sales and Marketing at Gillig. “We purchased the first HBA® in 2010 and we’re proud to have received the 1,000th HBA®. It is technology that works for Gillig and our customers. We’re also pleased to say it is American made.”

The Vanner Hybrid Beltless Alternator is an energy efficient solid state DC conversion alternative to traditional mechanical-drive alternator systems that reduces maintenance, fuel consumption and emissions. Running at 92-95 percent conversion efficiency, a single HBA® configuration can deliver up to 300 amps at idle (24 VDC) and with a Dual HBA® equipped bus up to 600 amps at idle (24VDC) are capable. An Electric Beltless Alternator (EBA®) configuration is available for electric, fuel cell and battery buses.IMG_3999

HBA® and EBA® equipped vehicles are currently in service in fifty seven transit authorities across North America and six countries worldwide including Spain, India, Turkey, Poland, Malaysia and Brazil. Made in Hilliard, Ohio, the Vanner HBA® is fully “Buy America” compliant.More than 120 HBAs® have been ordered since delivery of the 1,000th HBA® to Grand Rapids and the HBA® is quickly becoming the preferred DC-DC conversion system for Allison Hybrid buses due to its energy efficiency and fuel savings.

“Our hybrid bus fleet already receives a 20 percent savings in fuel consumption with the Gillig Hybrid,” continues Varga. “Integrating the Vanner HBA® will further those savings. The reduced maintenance and parts replacement costs over the life of the bus are additional benefits to our fleet. As stewards of our environment we find the Vanner HBA® equipped bus a natural fit because we know that we are not only putting a more efficient bus in service, we are also providing a greener transit ride for our community.”

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Written by The Rapid

The Rapid (Interurban Transit Partnership) is the authority that provides a variety of public transportation services for the Grand Rapids metro area and beyond. It is organized and operates under Michigan Public Act 196 of 1986.