“Developing safe and sustainable bus technology that Americans can rely on is a key driver behind our investment to create the Vehicle Innovation Center,” said Wayne Joseph, president of New Flyer of America. “By leveraging 50 years of experience in zero-emission bus manufacturing, we look forward to advancing our industry with transit solutions that help preserve the environment while contributing to the development of smart, connected cities.”
The VIC is an expansion to the company’s production campus and will be the first of its kind in North America. It includes an exhibit to educate visitors on advancements in electric transportation technology, an advanced manufacturing lab and training areas.
“We are proud of the work New Flyer is doing in Anniston and the impact on the entire country’s transportation industry,” said Alabama Power Eastern Division Vice President Tony Smoke. “This expansion is a tremendous example of how existing industry in the region is being elevated and sustained.”
Other elements of the expansion are expected to be complete by June 2018. The expansion will add about 76,000 square feet, increasing Anniston campus space to nearly 380,000 square feet. New Flyer in September announced it is spending $25 million to expand and upgrade the Anniston campus and open the VIC.
“New Flyer’s decision to locate its Vehicle Innovation Center in Anniston aligns perfectly with our goal of extending the state’s prowess in advanced manufacturing into high-level activities such as R&D and design,” Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, said last month.
Alabama is becoming a major player in developing battery technology. In addition to New Flyer, Mercedes-Benz announced last month plans to begin its first U.S. production of electric vehicles at its Tuscaloosa plant, and plans to build a battery factory to support that production.