Azure Dynamics Corporation (TSX: AZD & LSE: ADC), a developer of hybrid electric and electric technologies for commercial vehicles, announced today an exclusive partnership with Collins Bus Corporation of South Hutchinson, Kansas. The agreement allows Collins' network of distributors and customers to specify Azure's Balance Hybrid Electric technology on their Type A school bus orders. Type A school buses can typically transport between 14 and 30 passengers.
The new partnership will allow Collins to offer Azure's proprietary Balance Hybrid Electric drivetrain as an option on school buses built on Ford's E-450 chassis. Azure's Balance Hybrid Electric drivetrain can achieve up to 40% increase in fuel economy, while reducing maintenance costs by 30%. Importantly, the Azure technology also reduces harmful greenhouse emissions by up to 30%.
"Collins represents an ideal partner for Azure and furthers our goal of developing relationships with key industry leaders," said Scott Harrison, Azure's Chief Executive Officer. "Type A school buses are especially prevalent in urban school fleets where they make frequent starts and stops and spend significant time idling. These characteristics are all part of Azure's technology focus, so Collins customers will experience significant return on investment."
"Our distributors and customers are asking for a hybrid bus alternative," said Kent Tyler, Collins Bus President. "Azure has a federally approved bus application on the Ford E-450 chassis, so we will be the only Type A bus provider that offers all of the advantages associated with a hybrid derivative. Azure says that hybrid electric technology is 'part of the solution' and we are thrilled to be delivering this solution into the school bus market."
Collins sells buses under both the Collins and Mid Bus brands in the United States and as Corbeil in Canada. The company has a developed network of distributors that serve its key markets and customers.