Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles
ISE Corporation

ISE Corporation ("ISE") is a supplier of integrated hybrid-electric drive systems and control software for large buses and trucks.  In addition to its principal business as a supplier of fully integrated drive systems to vehicle manufacturers, ISE installs its systems into buses, trucks, and other vehicles on a smaller scale, and is demonstrating its drive systems in an ever-expanding variety of vehicle models.

The California cities of Elk Grove and Long Beach placed the first large-scale orders for buses using ISE's hybrid drive system, and a total of 68 ISE-powered gasoline hybrid buses are presently being used in revenue service by these two municipalities.  More than 30 additional ISE gasoline-hybrid buses are being used in other California municipalities, including Los Angeles, Gardena, Norwalk, Montebello, Fresno, San Bernardino, and Orange County.  ISE is presently the only U.S. supplier of gasoline-hybrid drive systems for large transit buses, a technology that produces significantly lower emissions than diesel hybrid systems.

New Flyer transit bus using ISE hybrid HICE system, on display at U.S. Capitol.

Hybrid-electric drive systems are gaining favor throughout the automotive industry because they have been shown to improve fuel economy and reduce harmful emissions. In the ISE series hybrid system, a smaller engine is mated to a generator and operated at a constant, efficient speed and power output level.  When vehicle power requirements temporarily increase – such as during acceleration or hill-climbing – additional power is drawn from an onboard energy storage system comprised of batteries or ultracapacitors (a new type of energy storage device).  When vehicle power requirements are low, the energy storage system is recharged.  Not only is engine efficiency increased, but the vehicle is able to recapture energy whenever it slows down through a process called "regenerative braking."

ISE’s proprietary control system uses a network architecture similar to an Ethernet computer network to monitor and control all of the hybrid system components.  Each major hybrid component is controlled by a microcomputer that acts as a "gateway" to the overall network, which uses an ISE-developed operating system that uses standard automotive industry Controller Area Network (CAN) protocols.  This gives the ISE hybrid architecture greater flexibility and upgrade potential than competing architectures.

New Flyer-ISE hybrid HICE bus at ISE wind hydrogen refueling facility in California.

ISE's product offering is supported by a key strategic agreement with Siemens, whichsupplies the electric motors, motor controllers, and generators used in nearly all of ISE’s ThunderVolt® hybrid drive systems.  The Siemens ELFA® components used by ISE are the most proven heavy-duty electric vehicle components in the world, having accumulated more than 30 million miles of service in more than 600 buses in Europe.  Using its own control system and Siemens components as a base, ISE can “mix and match” various engines and energy storage systems, relying on the flexibility of its system architecture – thereby offering customized drive systems more closely tailored to the needs of individual bus and truck customers.

The ISE gasoline hybrid system produces lower emissions than any competing diesel hybrid bus drive system, and is being purchased in quantity by transit agencies in California in response to restrictions on diesel exhaust. For customers who desire maximum fuel economy, ISE offers a variant of its drive system using the latest, clean-burning diesel engines. ISE also offers two variants of its system that run on hydrogen – a fuel cell hybrid drive system and a hybrid system that uses an internal combustion engine modified to burn hydrogen.  These systems produce virtually zero emissions and are extraordinarily efficient, as well as using a completely renewable fuel that can greatly reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil.  In addition, ISE is developing a new hybrid transit bus system that runs on compressed natural gas (CNG).

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