Azure Dynamics Corp., – a global leader among hybrid electric and electric components manufacturers, as well as commercial vehicle power train production, today announced the order of 18 of the Company’s Balance™ Hybrid Electric shuttle buses by the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG).

Targeted for deployment into the north-central (Dallas/Fort Worth) Texas rural transit system, the purchase of these units will be funded via a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Transit Capital Assistance program, and was the result of a successful bid by a partnership between the Company, StarTrans Bus, and Lasseter Bus and Mobility, which resulted in the Company being selected by NCTCOG subsequent to the issuing of their request for proposals.

VP of Sales for AZD, Jay Sandler, commented on the 18-unit pilot program by noting that the program puts the Company’s innovative product into the hands of five new end-users eager to adopt precisely this sort of cutting-edge technology. Sandler also pointed out the clean profile of this technology and the vast benefits offered by the Balance Hybrid Electric’s drivetrain, in addition to the outstanding 40% fuel economy savings and reduced upkeep expenditures from switching to the AZD system.

Other benefits of the Balance Hybrid Electric drivetrain, like engine-off at idle and regenerative braking, have led to its growing popularity, and the system is even utilized in Ford’s class-leading E450 chassis (5.4 litre Triton gas engine, five-speed automatic TorqShift transmission). The Azure Balance is also the only hybrid electric shuttle bus in its class to pass the 200k-mile, seven-year accelerated durability Altoona test required by federal law.

The bus bodies provided by StarTrans are fully lift-equipped (10 ambulatory plus 2 wheelchair, or 14 ambulatory passengers) and ADA accessible. The transaction was handled by 21-year veteran passenger bus provider, Lasseter Bus and Mobility of Lewisville, TX

Commercial Bus Sales Manager at Lasseter, Jason Roy, noted that the combination of public sector funding accessibility and the readily apparent environmental/economic benefits was driving business to new heights at their dealership, pointing to the pilot program for NCTCOG as a wonderful, brand-identity generating event which should produce more orders in the future.