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First Turbo-Hybrid Bus to Los Angeles

26 May 2000

ISE Research Delivers First ``Turbo-Hybrid'' Bus to Los Angeles; LA Dept. of Transportation DASH Bus Powered by Capstone MicroTurbine Generator

    SAN DIEGO--May 24, 2000--ISE Research Corporation (ISER) has delivered its first microturbine-driven hybrid-electric bus to the City of Los Angeles. The bus will service the Hollywood area.
    The main source of power for the ThunderVolt(tm) Turbo-Hybrid Bus is a pair of ultra-low-emission 30-kilowatt microturbine generators made by Capstone Turbine Corporation in Los Angeles. The ThunderVolt(tm) hybrid-electric drive system developed by ISER combines the microturbine power generation source with electric drive motors and a set of batteries. The batteries provide surge power for acceleration and hill-climbing, and recapture energy during braking. These features improve performance and energy efficiency, and enable the use of microturbines, which are smaller and lighter than conventional engines.
    A key feature of the Turbo-Hybrid Bus is that the microturbines generate electrical power much more cleanly than conventional internal combustion engines. The microturbines in the Los Angeles Turbo-Hybrid Bus run on propane, which is stored in conventional tanks supplied by Mutual Propane.
    Using propane, emissions of nitrous oxide are reduced to about nine parts per million, making the ISER vehicle one of the world's cleanest-burning transit buses. ISER's Turbo-Hybrid buses can also be equipped to run on natural gas as well as liquid fuels.
    "The Capstone microturbine is the simplest, most beautiful technological system I've ever seen, and I've seen a lot," said Steven Cannistraci, senior heavy duty equipment mechanic at the Los Angeles Department of Transportation. "It only has one moving part, it needs no oil, no coolant, there are no fluids to check and the only maintenance is periodic cleaning of the air filter."
    The Los Angeles hybrid bus program was funded by the LADOT, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee, and Federal Transit Administration.
    The 25-cent-fare LADOT DASH Hollywood bus will begin operation next month along Sunset, Fountain and Santa Monica boulevards between Highland and Vermont. The route will pass Hollywood High School, the Social Security Office and two prominent senior centers on the West. Major facilities on the East end will be Los Angeles City College and three major hospitals: Hollywood Presbyterian, Kaiser Permanente and Children's Hospital.
    The Turbo-Hybrid Bus delivered uses a 30-foot bus body supplied by ElDorado National, and is the first bus of this size to use microturbines. ISER will deliver three additional Turbo-Hybrid Buses to Los Angeles shortly. The second Turbo-Hybrid Bus in this series was exhibited at the National Clean Cities Conference in San Diego two weeks ago.
    In 1999, ISER delivered four hybrid-electric buses using conventional engines to Los Angeles, which have accumulated more than 40,000 total miles of revenue service to date. The ISER hybrid-electric drive system can be installed into virtually any bus model, as well as trucks and other vehicles.
    ISER is one of the world's leaders in integrating hybrid-electric drive systems into heavy duty vehicles. For information on ISE Research and its high-performance, environmentally friendly vehicle products, please contact George Schuh, director of marketing at phone/fax 858/637-5779 or 5776 or visit the company's Web site at
    Capstone Turbine Corporation ( is the leading manufacturer of commercial, ultra-low-emission microturbine power systems for heavy hybrid electric vehicles and for a variety of stationary power generation uses.