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NFI subsidiary ARBOC launches its first fully accessible, battery-electric low-floor bus; the zero-emission Equess CHARGE™

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Equess CHARGE™ harnesses New Flyer EV technology and ARBOC's proven low-floor platform; expanding accessible zero-emission mobility in North America

MIDDLEBURY, Ind., Feb. 26, 2021 /CNW/ - (TSX:NFI) ARBOC Specialty Vehicles, LLC ("ARBOC"), a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc. ("NFI"), one of the world's leading independent global bus manufacturers, today announced the introduction of its battery-electric low-floor purpose-built bus: the zero-emission Equess CHARGE™.

Available in 30-foot and 35-foot models, the Equess CHARGE™ builds on ARBOC's proven Equess transit bus platform, and utilizes the in-field electric vehicle technology from New Flyer of America ("New Flyer"), another NFI Group subsidiary. The Equess CHARGE™ combines American made battery technology from XALT, SIEMENS electric motors (highest torque available for steep grade cities) with efficient regenerative energy recovery, and charging infrastructure compliant with industry standards.

"NFI is leading the zero-emission evolution and has over 1,900 electric buses on the road in the United States and Canada. Today, we expand NFI's comprehensive suite of sustainable transportation solutions with our Equess CHARGE," said Doug Minix, General Manager, ARBOC. "We continue to lead the industry in low-floor, accessible mobility – providing transportation solutions that improve the environment while delivering a better experience for passengers through spacious entranceways, elimination of steps, superior entry ramp ratio, and a smoother ride."

The new battery-electric Equess CHARGE™ is the latest addition to NFI's market leading line-up of zero-emission battery-electric buses and coaches. It also continues ARBOC's history of innovation, which includes the introduction of the first low-floor cutaways, being the first to incorporate multiplexing on all products, and producing the first purpose-built medium-duty bus.

Passengers on the Equess CHARGE™ will experience a smooth ride and added benefits the Equess design offers. With no steps throughout the bus, a spacious 39" entrance door opening, and a superior entry ramp ratio for passengers with mobility assist devices, the Equess platform offers an enhanced level of accessibility. The Equess CHARGE™ features a carrying capacity of up to 33 seated passengers and six wheelchair passengers, all accomplished by optimized battery placement on the roof of the vehicle and in a rear compartment. Extended range configurations allow for up to 437 kWh battery capacity with anticipated transit ranges of approximately 230 miles on a single charge.

The Equess CHARGE™ will feature the SIEMENS ELFA 3 direct drive motor and a roof-mounted energy storage system ("ESS") compromised of 4-5 strings of batteries (dependent on bus length), with each string housed in an IP67 (weather tight) enclosure. The Equess CHARGE™ also includes a roof-mounted battery thermal management system, SIEMENS inverter rack assemblies (with 702 volts primary and 460 volts secondary), Parker Vansco electric controls and multiplexing, and will be compatible with a depot charger with a common CCS Type 1 plug.

The Equess CHARGE™ prototype is complete, and manufacturing of the 35-foot model will commence early 2021. The first production bus will then undergo testing through the Federal Transit Administration's Model Bus Testing Program in Altoona, Pennsylvania in 2021, with production for distribution anticipated for Q4 of 2021. The Equess CHARGE™ will be distributed exclusively by Creative Bus Sales in the United States, and by Dynamic Specialty Vehicles, Crestline Coach, and Creative Carriage in Canada.

ARBOC's parent, NFI is a leader in zero-emission mobility with battery-electric and fuel-cell electric vehicles operating in more than 80 cities in four countries that have completed over 20 million electric service miles.  

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements relating to expected future events and financial and operating results of the NFI Group that involve risks and uncertainties. Although the forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based upon what management believes to be reasonable assumptions, investors cannot be assured that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements, and the differences may be material. Actual results may differ materially from management expectations as projected in such forward-looking statements for a variety of reasons, including those risks and uncertainties discussed in the materials filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities and available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Due to the potential impact of these factors, NFI Group disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required by applicable law.

About NFI

Leveraging 450 years of combined experience, NFI is leading the electrification of mass mobility around the world. With zero-emission buses and coaches, infrastructure, and technology, NFI meets today's urban demands for scalable smart mobility solutions. Together, NFI is enabling more livable cities through connected, clean, and sustainable transportation.

With 8,000 team members in ten countries, NFI is a leading global bus manufacturer of mass mobility solutions under the brands New Flyer® (heavy-duty transit buses), MCI® (motor coaches), Alexander Dennis Limited (single and double-deck buses), Plaxton (motor coaches), ARBOC® (low-floor cutaway and medium-duty buses), and NFI Parts™. NFI currently offers the widest range of sustainable drive systems available, including zero-emission electric (trolley, battery, and fuel cell), natural gas, electric hybrid, and clean diesel. In total, NFI supports its installed base of over 105,000 buses and coaches around the world. NFI common shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol NFI. News and information is available at www.nfigroup.com, www.newflyer.com, www.mcicoach.com, www.alexander-dennis.com, www.arbocsv.com, and www.nfi.parts.

About ARBOC

ARBOC is North America's low-floor, body-on-chassis ("cutaway") bus leader serving transit, paratransit, and shuttle applications. With more than 3,500 buses produced, ARBOC leads the low-floor cutaway bus market providing unsurpassed passenger accessibility and comfort. ARBOC also offers the Equess and Liberty, medium-duty buses for transit and shuttle applications.  Further information is available at www.arbocsv.com.

SOURCE NFI Group Inc.

Cision View original content to download multimedia: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/February2021/26/c0452.html

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