GILLIG’s Battery Electric Bus Breaks Federal Records at Altoona


GILLIG, America’s leading manufacturer of heavy-duty, clean-energy transit buses, announced today that they received the highest-ever score for a battery electric bus tested at Altoona, with a total score of 89.5.

The Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Bus Test Program, conducted by the Larson Transportation Institute’s Bus Research and Testing Center in Altoona, Pennsylvania, evaluates how well vehicles perform under conditions that simulate the rigorous duty cycles required of transit buses.

To be eligible for purchase with federal grant funding, such as the recently awarded $1.66 billion in FTA grants, all buses must demonstrate that they meet or exceed performance minimums. The comprehensive testing assesses key performance areas, such as maintainability, reliability, safety, structural integrity, noise, fuel economy, and emissions. The FTA introduced a 100-point scoring system in 2016 to better inform buyers by offering an unbiased, standardized assessment of vehicle durability, safety, and performance.

With an overall score of 89.5 out of 100, GILLIG’s Battery Electric Bus far exceeds the Altoona minimum standards and passed all pass/fail performance tests, qualifying for purchase with federal funding (as all GILLIG buses are). Performing beyond Altoona’s requirements, GILLIG’s 40′ bus scored exceptionally well in all evaluated categories and broke the previous highest records for reliability and safety performance.

The report, released earlier this month, clearly proves that GILLIG produces the safest and most reliable battery electric buses available in the US. Altoona evaluates reliability, in part, through measuring in a range of 0 to 125 hours of unscheduled maintenance throughout the testing process, with higher scores going to those with fewer required repairs. During more than 15,000 miles of testing, the GILLIG Battery Electric Bus required only 15.2 repair hours of unscheduled maintenance. Comparatively, other battery electric buses tested at Altoona over the last seven years have each needed, on average, 72.3 hours of repair time to complete their testing.

In addition to proving GILLIG’s commitment to quality, the results also clearly demonstrate GILLIG’s dedication to safety. The GILLIG Battery Electric Bus received the highest score ever in the critical braking test, stopping, on average, over 30 feet – or over two car lengths – earlier than other manufacturers’ comparable electric buses.

“We talk a lot about ‘quality without compromise’ here at GILLIG,” said Ben Grunat, VP of Product Planning and Strategy, GILLIG. “These scores demonstrate exactly what that means; our product being the safest and most reliable Zero Emission Bus on the market is not our goal. Rather, it’s GILLIG’s standard.”

Their standard of excellence comes from a focused vision, exemplary products, steadfast customer care, and GILLIG’s 130 years of American-built craftsmanship. Known for being ruggedly reliable, all GILLIG buses are built on their proven Low-Floor Platform, which has decades of successful in-service performance and excels in in-depth validation testing, such as at Altoona.

GILLIG’s Battery Electric Bus combines the unmatched durability of their platform with a highly efficient electric powertrain and a unique modular energy storage system that’s plug-in, overhead conductive, and inductive charging compatible. The result is a record-setting product that offers trusted quality, proven performance, and maximum flexibility for operators and agencies as they plan and expand their zero-emission fleets.

The latest Altoona report concretely proves that GILLIG’s Battery Electric Bus is the gold standard of reliability, durability, and safety. And as shown by their recent record-breaking Low-No funding partnerships, the market agrees. Since releasing their first Electric bus in 2018, GILLIG has rapidly gained a market reputation as the highest-quality, best-performing, and safest zero-emissions bus manufacturer in America.