This month, the local transportation system in the city of Ann Arbor, Michigan (my hometown), rolls out fifteen new diesel-electric hybrid buses in its fleet. Ultimately, the goal is to switch over the entire fleet (roughly 70 buses) to electric hybrids. Ann Arbor is the first city in the Midwest to announce plans for converting its entire public transport fleet to hybrids.
Electric hybrids, which use regenerative braking (using the electric motor as a generator to recover some of the energy and recharge the batteries while slowing the vehicle), are very well-suited to stop-and-go driving (which is what buses do). With the electric drive, these buses are 30% more fuel-efficient than similar conventional models. The hybrids being used in Ann Arbor cost roughly 50% more than conventional buses ($550,000 versus $390,000), but are expected to provide both fuel savings as well as lower maintenance costs.
With the introduction of these environmentally-friendly buses, the AATA continues its tradition of leadership in adopting new technology to improve transit service for the 5.6 million annual riders and the community. Just the initial purchase will make the portion of AATA's fleet that is hybrid electric the largest in the Midwest.
Hybrid buses are a double-win because public transport is generally more efficient than individual vehicle driving to begin with, and the regenerative hybrid drive is ideal for the way for those buses to operate. Since I'm a regular rider of the AATA, I'm looking forward to riding on one of these buses in the near future.
written by A Siegel ., November 09, 2007
written by anti.integer, November 12, 2007
written by Ryan, November 20, 2007
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