"The 18 unit NCTCOG pilot program puts our product in the hands of five new end users which have all demonstrated their interest in cleaner transportation solutions," Jay Sandler, Azure Dynamics VP of Sales said in a statement.
"Our Balance(TM) Hybrid Electric drivetrain will deliver the environmental benefits that the customers want and that the communities deserve, and our up to 40% fuel economy improvement and reduced maintenance costs are extremely attractive ancillary benefits."
The buses to be delivered, StarTrans, are lift-equipped for 10 ambulatory passengers and two wheelchair passengers. Engine wise, the buses are powered by a 5.4l Triton gasoline engine paired with a five-speed automatic TorqShift transmission. Built on Ford E450 chassis, the buses are advertised by Azure as being the only hybrid electric shuttle bus in its class to have completed the federally required seven year, 200,000 mile accelerated durability Altoona test.
"The combination of access to government funding support and significant economic and environmental benefits has increased the call for green transportation solutions at our dealership," added Jason Roy, Commercial Bus Sales Manager at Lasseter Bus. "This is a pilot program for NCTCOG and we hope to attract additional orders as the customer begins to fully appreciate and enjoy the performance benefits."