Two of the first 19 hybrid school buses have just been delivered to Manatee County, Florida as part of the Plug-In Hybrid Electric School Bus Project. Designed to test the viability of the new buses, a hybrid and a control bus will travel the same route, alternating every two weeks, for a period of two years which should equate to more than a million miles of service each.
An array of different measures will be tracked via a GPS system including acceleration, deceleration, braking, fuel economy and more. It is hoped that fuel economy improvements of 70 to 100 percent will be realized on the plug-in hybrid vehicles plus a reduction in emissions of up to 90 percent. The hybrids will join the district's fleet which includes about 250 biodiesel-powered buses.
Analysis: These buses are manufactured by IC Corporation which has called on Enova Systems who we've reported on before to produce their hybrid-electric drivetrains. Plug-in electric technology should work well in this case as the buses return to the same depot every night where they can be charged. At $225,000 each, these buses aren't cheap, but their emissions are also expected to be 90 percent lower!
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[Source: Bradenton Herald]