Hybrid electric bus

This article deals with hybrid combustion / battery hybrid buses. For alternately powered buses, see dual-mode bus; for fuel cell hybrids see fuel cell bus; for all-electric buses, see electric bus.

A hybrid electric bus combines a conventional internal combustion engine propulsion system with an electric propulsion system. These type of buses normally use a Diesel-electric powertrain and are also known as hybrid Diesel-electric buses.

The introduction of hybrid electric vehicles and other green vehicles for purposes of public transport forms a part of sustainable transport schemes.


Types of hybrid vehicle drivetrain

A hybrid electric bus may have either a parallel powertrain (e.g. Volvo B5L)[1][2] or a series powertrain (e.g. some versions of the Alexander Dennis Enviro400).[3]

Plug-in hybrid

Main article: Plug-in hybrid

The United States Department of Energy (USDOE) has announced the selection of Navistar Corporation for a cost-shared award of up to $10 million to develop, test, and deploy plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) school buses. The project aims to deploy 60 vehicles for a three-year period in school bus fleets across the nation. The vehicles will be capable of running in either electric-only or hybrid modes and will be recharged from a standard electrical outlet. Because electricity will be their primary fuel, they will consume less petroleum than standard vehicles. To develop the PHEV school bus, Navistar will examine a range of hybrid architectures and evaluate advanced energy storage devices, with the goal of developing a vehicle with a 40-mile (64 km) electric range. Travel beyond the 40-mile (64 km) range will be facilitated by a clean Diesel engine capable of running on renewable fuels. The DOE funding will cover up to half of the project's cost and will be provided over three years, subject to annual appropriations.[4]

Tribrid Bus

See also: Solar bus

Air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions

Main article: Global warming

A report prepared by Purdue University suggests introducing more hybrid Diesel-electric buses and a fuel containing 20 percent biodiesel (BD20) would further reduce greenhouse emissions and petroleum consumption.[6]


A Designline-built gas turbine-electric bus on the QuayLink service in Tyne and Wear, England
A New Flyer Industries DE60LFR hybrid articulated bus.
A Gillig BRT hybrid.

Current manufacturers of Diesel-electric hybrid buses include Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), Azure Dynamics Corporation, Ebus,[7] Eletra (Brazil),[8] New Flyer Industries, Tata, (India), Gillig, Motor Coach Industries, Orion Bus Industries, North American Bus Industries, Daimler AG's Mitsubishi Fuso, MAN,[9] Designline, BAE Systems, Volvo Buses, Wrightbus, Castrosua,[10] Tata Hispano[11] and many more.

In 2006, Nova Bus, which had previously marketed the RTS hybrid before that model was discontinued, added a Diesel-electric hybrid option for its LFS series. as well

In the United Kingdom, Wrightbus has introduced a development of the London "Double-Decker", a new interpretation of the traditional red buses that are a feature of the extreme traffic density in London. The Wright Pulsar Gemini HEV bus uses a small Diesel engine with electric storage through a lithium ion battery pack. The use of a 1.9-litre Diesel instead of the typical 7.0-litre engine in a traditional bus demonstrates the possible advantages of serial hybrids in extremely traffic-dense environments. Based on a London test cycle, a reduction in CO2 emissions of 31% and fuel savings in the range of 40% have been demonstrated, compared with a modern "Euro-4" compliant bus.

Also in 2005 General Electric introduced its hybrid electric gear shifters on the market. Toyota claims to have started with the Coaster Hybrid Bus in 1997 on the Japanese market. In May 2003 General Motors started to tour with hybrid electric buses developed together with Allison. Several hundreds of those buses have entered into daily operation in the U.S. The Blue Ribbon City Hybrid bus was presented by Hino, a Toyota affiliate, in January 2005. Mitsubishi Fuso have developed a Diesel engine hybrid bus using lithium batteries in 2002, and this model has since seen limited service in several Japanese cities.

Since 1999, Hybrid electric buses with gas turbine generators have been developed by several manufacturers in the US and New Zealand, with the most successful design being the buses made by Designline of New Zealand. The first model went into commercial service in Christchurch (NZ) since 1999, and later models were sold for daily service in Tokyo, Auckland (NZ), Hong Kong, and Newcastle upon Tyne (UK).

New Flyer, Gillig, North American Bus Industries, and Nova Bus produce hybrid electric buses using either BAE System's HybriDrive, or Allison Transmission GM's electric drive system.

The Whispering Wheel bus is another HEV.

List of former hybrid bus manufacturers: ISE Corporations Thundervolt (filed for bankruptcy in 2010) Azure Dynamics (filed for bankruptcy in 2012)


Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technologies (HEVT) makes conversions of new and used vehicles (aftermarket and retrofit conversions), from combustion buses and conventional hybrid electric buses into plug-in buses.[12]

List of transit authorities using hybrid electric buses

Transit authorities that use hybrid electric buses:[13]

North America

United States

A New Flyer hybrid-electric articulated bus on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus, operated by the school.

Federal funding generally comes from the federal Diesel Emissions Reduction Act.


OC Transpo hybrid bus, Ottawa.


A Tata Marcopolo CNG Hybrid bus in Mumbai


Hong Kong








A hybrid electric bus in Lübeck, Germany




A hybrid electric bus in Bath, England on a Park and Ride service

The Green Bus Fund is a fund which is supporting bus companies and local authorities in the UK to help them buy new electric buses.:[26]


Castrosua Tempus hybrid city bus at the 2008 FIAA (International Bus and Coach Fair) in Madrid


Other European Countries

Other countries

Hybrid biodiesel-electric buses provide feeder services in some routes of Curitiba's Rede Integrada de Transporte, Brazil.

See also


  1. "Hybrid - B5L - Hybrid". Volvo Buses. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
  2. XL3 Hybrid Electric
  3. "Double Deck (2 axle)". Alexander-dennis.com. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
  4. "Energy.gov". Apps1.eere.energy.gov. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  5. "Green 'tribrid' minibus unveiled". BBC. 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2008-06-05.
  6. "Energycurrent.com". Energycurrent.com. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  7. "Ebus.com". Ebus.com. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  8. "Eletra, SBC, Brazil". Eletrabus.com.br. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  9. "Munich starts using the first MAN hybrid city bus | Frontier India Aerospace, Land and Marine". Frontierindia.net. 2010-05-25. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  10. "Castrosua.com". Castrosua.com. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  11. "tatahispano.com". Tata Hispano. Retrieved 2013-08-05.
  12. "Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technologies, Inc (HEVT) | An IIT (Illinois Institute of Technology) Startup in Chicago | Home". HEVT. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  13. "Analysis of electric drive technologies for transit applications: Battery-electric, hybrid-electric, and fuel cells" (PDF). 2005. p. 20. Retrieved 2009-11-08. More transit authorities with HEV here (FTA)
  14. Jibreel Riley (2010-07-20). "COTA: Hybrid Bus Purchase". Theotherpaper.com. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  15. "Environmental Commitment". Community Transit. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
  16. "Citilink: Hybrid Bus Demonstration". Fwcitilink.com. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  17. Archived February 10, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  18. "Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority". go Metro. 2009-04-21. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  19. "Ann Arbor campus welcomes three more hybrid buses". The Regents of the University of Michigan. 2012-09-11. Retrieved 2013-04-01.
  20. "Hybrid Electric Bus". Transitbc.com. 2005-05-04. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  21. "Hybrid Bus".
  22. "Transit goes green-er".
  23. 1 2 "BUSportal - Viac ako 30 percent nižšie CO2:". Busportal.sk. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  24. "Germany: MAN Lion's City Hybrid launches in Munich". Automotive World. 2010-05-27. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  25. "Hybrid Bus in the City: A Prototype with a Future". Physorg.com. 2007-08-20. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  26. "Green Bus Fund". Dft.gov.uk. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  27. ""Green Technology":TFL Bus Investment". Transport for London.
  28. "Birmingham hybrid buses launched". National Express West Midlands Buses. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  29. "More green hybrid buses on Way to West Midlands". National Express West Midlands Buses. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  30. http://www.oxfordbus.co.uk/about-us/oxford-bus-company/
  31. "Autobús urbano ecológico y eficiente - 29/09/2009 - Equipamiento para municipios". Interempresas.net. 2009-09-29. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  32. Navarro, Xavier (2009-04-15). "Paris tests a new hybrid bus that uses ultracapacitors — Autoblog Green". Green.autoblog.com. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  33. "MAN Nutzfahrzeuge - Hybrid drive". Man-mn.com. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  34. Volvo Buses - when productivity counts (2010-04-20). "PostAuto operates the Volvo 7700 Hybrid on rural routes". Volvobuses.com. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  35. "First hybrid Postbus". Postauto.ch. Retrieved 2010-11-27.

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