Prepare Your Bus Fleet for Winter by Choosing the Right Power Source

The approach of winter and dropping temperatures presents a slew of challenges—especially for managers of municipal transit bus fleets. Not only are they responsible for maintaining a reliable schedule, but the condition of their heavy-duty vehicles must also ensure that passengers, bus drivers and other vehicles on the road are kept safe. While the weather can’t be controlled, it’s always best to prepare for the worst including impending snow, hail and even freezing rain.

Making sure your fleet is winter-ready is crucial to minimize many of the issues that typically arise during extreme weather conditions. A routine maintenance check may be in order, including evaluating fluid levels and tire conditions as well as cleaning and/or replacing other onboard components. Another important aspect to overall winter bus fleet performance is tending to the health of the battery.

Conventional flooded lead acid batteries are typically less expensive than other chemistries on the market today but come with their share of potential problems in winter. For example, flooded lead acid batteries generally have a higher rate of self-discharge, so the charge should be checked periodically. Extremes in temperature, such as cold weather and high winds can also dramatically affect performance. Consistently checking battery electrolyte levels and adding water if needed are essential. Cleaning away any corrosion on battery terminals that may occur will help ensure that proper electrical contact is maintained.

In terms of construction, conventional flooded lead acid batteries are not the most robust. Internal assemblies as well as battery cases and covers not built to withstand extreme shock and vibration may lead to issues when harsh weather conditions arise. Not to mention maintaining dependable travel through the bumps and jolts brought on by winter potholes and frozen chunks of ice that come with the season. Cracks in a battery case can cause acid to leak from the battery. This can create more damage, is a potential safety hazard and can ultimately cause the battery to fail. In addition, excessive vibration can damage a battery’s internal components and dramatically shorten battery life.

With all the considerations mentioned, fleet managers of municipal transit buses should seriously consider equipping their vehicles with a battery that’s not only up to the challenge of winter weather, but offers additional year-round benefits as well, such as ODYSSEY® Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries from EnerSys®.

ODYSSEY® batteries are particularly well suited to deal with the harsh realities of winter weather. These batteries can withstand extreme temperatures, making them an excellent choice for cold, snowy climates. They feature rugged construction, are non-spillable, shock and vibration resistant and maintenance-free. ODYSSEY® batteries deliver high cranking power, deep cycling capability (up to 70 percent longer than conventional deep cycle batteries), plus rugged resistance to impact, vibration and extreme temperature. No watering is ever needed, and service life can range up to 10 years. ODYSSEY® batteries also feature proprietary Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) technology. Electrode plates are made of pure lead in a TPPL battery, which can be made thinner so that more plates will fit than in a comparably sized conventional lead acid battery. The additional plates provide as much as 15 percent greater surface area, increasing the electrochemical reactions with the electrolyte. The result is significantly higher cranking power. The AGM construction of ODYSSEY® batteries—tightly compressed lead plates and mat, housed in a rugged outer case—makes them extremely shock and vibration resistant.

This winter season, equip your fleet with ODYSSEY® batteries and experience the peace of mind high quality AGM batteries can deliver.

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EnerSys, the global leader in stored energy solutions for industrial applications, designs, manufactures, and distributes energy systems solutions and motive power batteries, specialty batteries, battery chargers, power equipment, battery accessories and outdoor equipment enclosure solutions to customers worldwide. The company goes to market through four lines of business: Energy Systems, Motive Power, Specialty and New Ventures. Energy Systems, which combine power conversion, power distribution, energy storage, and enclosures, are used in the telecommunication, broadband and utility industries, uninterruptible power supplies, and numerous applications requiring stored energy solutions. Motive power batteries and chargers are utilized in electric forklift trucks and other industrial electric powered vehicles. Specialty batteries are used in aerospace and defense applications, large over-the-road trucks, premium automotive, medical and security systems applications. New Ventures provides energy storage and management systems for various applications including demand charge reduction, utility back-up power, and dynamic fast charging for electric vehicles. EnerSys also provides aftermarket and customer support services to its customers in over 100 countries through its sales and manufacturing locations around the world. More information regarding EnerSys can be found at


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