5 Million Miles and Counting - the RTD Mallride
DESCH's involvement with the Denver RTD Mall began in 1998, with a fledgling company's award of a contract to develop a completely revolutionary, ground up vehicle design.
The resulting product, TransTeq's EcoMark, was a battery dominant series hybrid with twin PM motors, full electrification of accessories, multiplexed controls, and dozens of other custom features that were years, even decades ahead of their time. A fleet of 36 were built and have served Denver well beyond their design life, with some still on the road 18 years later. DESCH principals secured 10 patents on HEV control strategies as a result, and have continued to expand on the technologies originally developed.
Fast forward to 2012, when DESCH was heavily involved in the design, sales and testing of the EcoMark's proposed replacement, the DesignLine EcoSaver. Exploiting the EcoMark's patents, the shuttles shared the EcoMark's custom features and employed diesel turbine technology and modern components. A truly beautiful bus design, only two were constructed and tested before DesignLine shuttered. The original EcoMarks soldiered on, 4 miles an hour, 18 hours a day, day after day, year after year, racking up more than 5 million combined miles so far.
A new supplier began deliveries of EV mall shuttles in 2016, bringing the reign of the EcoMark to a close after 18 years.