Cobus hopes to spark sales of battery-powered airport passenger buses in North America through development of a second vehicle model.
Cobus Industries (the US subsidiary of the German manufacturer) continues to see brisk sales of its conventional apron buses in the US, and it has sold its E.COBUS 3000 battery-powered variants to international airports in Canada (first Vancouver and then Montréal, which is expected to buy more conventional or electric buses in 2019). As an all-electric version of its COBUS 3000, the E.COBUS 3000 utilises lithium-ion phosphate as the cathode material for its batteries.
Cobus and Vancouver officials are discussing the sale of additional e-buses, specifically a smaller version of the E.COBUS 3000, which is 10 ft (3 m) wide and 45 ft long. The new bus under development is only 9 ft wide and 39 ft in length. As the smaller bus is designed for space-constrained airports, company officials told Jane’s they “expect to have multiple orders for it in 2019”.
Cobus Industries representatives said that Seattle-Tacoma and Los Angeles international airports are interested in acquiring E.COBUS 3000s, with the latter needing to replace 14 diesel-powered Cobus apron buses dating from the 1990s – but no sales have been made yet to any US airport.
Even so, Cobus officials believe that production of electric apron buses will surpass diesel-powered models within 15 years, due to tightened emission standards worldwide. Don Frassettio, president of Cobus Industries, told Jane’s there is considerable interest in Cobus electric buses. “I’m sure that interest will turn into orders very soon,” he predicted.
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