Hybrid buses are becoming an increasingly common sight in cities around North America and Daimler has grabbed the largest share of the market. Daimler Bus North America has now received orders for over 3,000 of its Orion VII hybrid buses. Over 2,200 of the Orions are already in service, with the single largest population in the New York City area. There, over 1,250 units are prowling the streets.
The Orion VII uses a series hybrid drivetrain developed by BAE systems. Since 2008, the Orions have been using lithium ion battery packs in place of the original nickel metal hydride packs. In a set-up somewhat similar to the Chevy Volt, a Cummins diesel engine drives a generator and the wheels are driven by the electric motor. Unlike conventional buses, the series hybrid has no transmission, eliminating a major maintenance item. The Daimler press release is after the jump.