The Numbers Behind Hybrid Electric Buses
Similar to the hybrid cars you’ve been seeing on the roads quite often these days, hybrid coach buses are gaining popularity for a few important reasons. Private bus companies and city transportation departments alike are choosing to invest in these buses, which run on diesel fuel and battery-powered electricity, and which use high-tech computer systems in the engines to switch between the two energy sources in order to conserve the most amount of energy possible.
Hybrid coach buses sound great in theory, but if you look at some numbers taken from a 2010 report by the Transit Cooperative Research Program, these buses look even better:
29% to 38%: The range of diesel savings that hybrid buses have, compared to conventional buses that are completely powered by diesel. Not only do hybrid coach buses use less diesel simply because they run on electricity when possible, but when the engines in these buses have to use fuel, they average about 3.93 miles per gallon — which is 9.5% higher than traditional charter bus services.
30%: The possible estimated reduction in fuel consumption, calculated by the U.S. Transportation Research Board in 2010, of urban coach bus lines between 2013 and 2015. As the report notes, hybrid buses are perfect options for city transportation services that are constantly driving in stop-and-go traffic, because the engines in these buses are able to switch between fuel and electricity whenever the vehicle decelerates and accelerates.
26%: The percentage by which green house gas emissions will decrease, by 2030, as more diesel buses are replaced by hybrid buses and trolleys that run solely on electricity. For a while now, researchers have been developing vehicles that run completely on electricity. Although electric buses haven’t made their way over to the U.S. yet (certain European transit systems have just begun using them), some American cities already use electric trolleys, which are fairly similar.
So now it’s up to you — what do you think about these buses? Do you think that they’ll be as successful as predicted? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section!