Member Spotlight: BAE Systems

BAE Systems is a global defense and security company with approximately 85,000 employees worldwide working in a wide range of industries.  BAE Systems Electronics Systems sector, based in Nashua, New Hampshire, has operations spanning commercial and defense electronics markets and, in particular, is extensively involved in power and energy management systems.  The business area within Electronics Systems that brings the company to NY-BEST is HybriDrive® Solutions, which is a world leader in hybrid electric technology.

HybriDrive Solutions is based in Endicott, New York, where a new corporate and manufacturing center opened in December, 2012.  This 100,000 square-foot facility employs 250 people and is capable of producing up to 1,000 systems per year.  HybriDrive’s expertise is in power and energy management

HybriDrive Solutions offers heavy-duty hybrid-electric products for transit bus, truck, rail and maritime industries.  The hybrid-electric systems include an energy storage system, sophisticated power electronics, and high power-density electric machines designed to manage power efficiently.

The HybriDrive Series system powers nearly 4,000 buses around the world, in cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, London, and New York City. Six different bus manufacturers use HybriDrive propulsion systems and these buses are in use in 35 fleets on three continents.  To date, these bus systems have saved more than 38 million gallons of diesel fuel and reduced CO2 emissions by more than 500,000 tons.  HybriDrive Series products are used in hybrid transit buses, electric transit buses, and trams and light rail systems.

“BAE Systems’ commitment to innovation in hybrid electric technology is evident in every one of the 4,000 buses our systems power around the globe,” said Steve Trichka, vice president and general manager of HybriDrive Solutions. “The support we’ve received from New York State to continue to further the progress of hybrid electric propulsion is a major affirmation of this work.”

In 2012, BAE introduced HybriDrive Series-E, which has been described as “the cleanest hybrid bus in the USA” as well as the “most electric hybrid” on the market.  

The Series-E bus incorporates a new lithium-ion energy storage system and features electric power for air conditioning, power steering, the air compressor, engine cooling and other accessories.  It also features four new electric operating modes:  stop/start drive, quiet drive, depot drive, and silent drive. 

The benefits of these features include quieter, cleaner, and more efficient transportation over a conventional bus.  HybriDrive propulsion offers a 30 percent fuel economy improvement, an additional 10 percent by powering bus accessories electrically, and up to 10 percent more with “engine-off” technology.  These buses also require the use of fewer belts and guards, the removal of systems such as standard alternators, starters, and hydraulic lines in the engine compartment, and overall lower operating and maintenance costs.

Another product, the HybriDrive Parallel system, is used in heavy-duty trucks as well as hybrid front-engine buses.  BAE’s HybriDrive Marine systems are used in maritime propulsion and power systems.

BAE Systems is also the prime systems integrator and propulsion supplier for the American Fuel Cell Bus, an all-electric, zero-emission vehicle.  This bus is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, and can also operate in a limited-range battery-powered propulsion mode.  This first American Fuel Cell Bus is in revenue service with the SunLine Transit Agency in California’s Coachella Valley, and has been operating since late 2011.

BAE Systems’ involvement in hybrid propulsion systems grew out of its expertise in power management and control on high-performance military aircraft.  These capabilities were applied to hybrid electric propulsion and power management systems in vehicles and have made BAE Systems a leader in this field.  The company subsequently expanded its role in the energy sector with power management and storage solutions for industrial, utility and renewable energy applications with its HybriGentechnology.

BAE Systems is truly a world leader in advanced energy and power management systems for the global transportation industry.

For more information about BAE’s HybriDrive products and technology, visit