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Allison Transmission and TheRide dedicate first buses equipped with new technology for fuel economy

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, August 2015. Allison Transmission Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ALSN) and the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) have dedicated the first of 60 new buses equipped with the latest advances in fuel economy technology. Referred to as xFE, designating extra fuel economy, the new fully automatic bus transmission has demonstrated improvements up to 7 percent.

“This dedication ushers in a new era for fuel economy technology,” said Heidi Schutte, executive director of North America sales for Allison Transmission. “As a customer for more than 20 years, we’re pleased TheRide is the first transit agency in the world to feature our new xFE automatic transmission.”

The new buses are part of TheRide’s Five-Year Transit Improvement Program to implement new and expanded services, while also replacing older buses in the agency’s fleet. So far, TheRide has taken delivery of eight buses with seven more due in November. Another 45 buses will be delivered over the next five years. In addition to the xFE transmission, the buses feature a new exterior design.

"We continue to seek new and emerging technologies that foster environmental responsibility," said Matt Carpenter, CEO of TheRide. "Allison Transmission’s solid reputation for quality and reliability has been at the forefront of our successful relationship. Pairing the brand new xFE transmission with our bus fleet will serve as an important step as we implement both our new and improved services and our sustainability initiatives."

Transmissions with xFE have the same space claim and ratings as current models, but incorporate optimized gear ratios coupled with Allison’s FuelSense® Max electronic controls package. They enable torque converter lock up in 1st gear and operate at lower engine speeds in higher ranges to further improve fuel economy.

“Allison produced the world’s first automatic transmission for a city bus in 1947,” said Schutte. “Building on that heritage, our xFE transmission is the newest in a long line of innovative and reliable products for transit buses. Our goal with the new xFE portfolio is to achieve the best fuel economy from an automatic transmission in a bus.”

Allison transmissions are utilized by 21 of the 25 largest cities in the world and are specified by more than 100 bus OEMs worldwide. On any given day, more than 200,000 Allison-equipped buses are in operation, transporting 20 million passengers daily. 

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