ALBANY, N.Y. — A hybrid school bus manufactured by IC Corp. and Enova Systems Inc. was unveiled in early July at the New York Association for Pupil Transportation conference and trade show.
IC Corp. officials believe the hybrid bus, which couples IC’s VT 365 diesel engine and Enova’s 80-kilowatt hybrid-electric powertrain, could attain a 40 percent increase in fuel economy.
Michael Cancelliere, vice president and general manager of IC Corp., said the hybrid bus will help to reduce operating costs and also reduce engine emissions. The system has a parallel architecture, meaning that it can use both diesel and electric power in a highly efficient manner.
The system recovers kinetic energy during regenerative braking, charging the batteries while the bus is slowing down. This provides additional power for acceleration, making the hybrid buses ideal because of the frequent starting and stopping of the bus.
“We believe that diesel-electric hybrid technology can be made commercially viable for the school bus industry and this collaboration is the first step in making that a reality,” Cancelliere said.
The first hybrid school bus, which is estimated to cost about twice as much as a traditional diesel bus, will be delivered by Leonard Bus Sales in Deposit, N.Y., to Shenendehowa Central School District in Clifton Park, N.Y. The deal is pending final approval of a grant to help fund the purchase.