EV Engineering News

Denver range extended electric buses to use Capstone microturbines

The DesignLine buses have an all-electric drivetrain with lithium-ion batteries and a Capstone 30 kW microturbine range extender, which runs on clean diesel or biodiesel.


Capstone Turbine Corporation (Nasdaq: CPST) has received an order for 34 of its C30 microturbine energy systems for use in DesignLine’s EcoSaver IV hybrid buses, which are to be delivered to the Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) later this year. The new buses will operate on the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver, replacing TransTeq buses that are being retired. Two Capstone-equipped DesignLine buses have already been in service for a year on the route, and have better maintenance records than the TransTeq vehicles, according to RTD officials.

The DesignLine buses have an all-electric drivetrain, and use lithium-ion batteries to power the electric motors and accessories such as air conditioning, power steering and lighting. The batteries recover kinetic energy via a regenerative braking system, and are recharged by the Capstone 30 kW microturbine, which runs on clean diesel or biodiesel.

Capstone and DesignLine recently executed a new five-year OEM agreement. “We have seen a measurable improvement in DesignLine operations since Joe Smith was named President and CEO in 2012,” said Capstone CEO Darren Jamison. “Joe is a wily bus industry veteran and the former President of the New York MTA who first interacted with DesignLine while he was still at MTA. Joe became interested in the company’s technology and now is a big proponent of Capstone.”

Los Angeles-based Capstone has shipped over 6,500 of its low-emission microturbine systems. Charlotte-based DesignLine builds a range of diesel, CNG, hybrid and all-electric buses, which are in service in New York City, Hong Kong and other cities around the world.


Image: Payton Chung
Sources: Capstone, DesignLine

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