• Jul 22nd 2007 at 1:24PM
  • 8

Look, I know that some of you all going to be mad at me for posting this video because it doesn't include the segment about Lindsay Lohan's rapidly changing hairstyles. I'm sorry to disappoint all of you, but perhaps the information you get about the plug-in hybrid buses that a local school district in Tampa has purchased will cheer you back up. The video says that these two buses are the nations' first two in operation. After charging for six hours, the bus can save 70-100 percent of the gasoline and subsequent emissions, and as much as half from there. Obviously, the driving habits of the bus driver will impact the actual mileage. Perhaps driver training will be helpful. Something tells me that "former aerospace engineer turned bus driver Marion Patterson" will be able to adjust with no problem.

The follow-up report on the buses explains that each unit costs twice as much as a standard bus at $225,000, but they will be equipped with GPS units to track the wheels on the bus, which do in fact go 'round and 'round. Also, maintenance costs will be tallied to see how cost effective the plug-in buses prove to be.

[Source: Hugg, thanks Linton]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      There will be 19 of these buses delivered this year. I am glad to see people excited about it. We have more information on the program at www.hybridschoolbus.org.

      • 8 Years Ago
      We made several Blue Bird buses all electric in 1994. They went 175 miles on a charge and had much better performance than the gas or diesel units (read, do not floor it to get get going unless you want to launch everyone and everything not nailed down)and a fraction of the overall opperation cost of the ICE brethren.
      Oh, and the overall fleet average is only 25.7 miles a day.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I always thought School Buses were required to always use Diesel for safety reasons...
      • 8 Years Ago
      175 miles?! Pardon me if I seem doubtful, but the only way a truck-sized lead-acid EV would go that far is at speeds too low to be safe on public streets. If you've got any history on this (specs and testing procedures), it might be a worthwhile read.
      • 8 Years Ago
      rob- Diesel vaporizes at a much higher temperature than gasoline and doesn't mix with air and explode in an accident like gasoline. That's why the military uses diesel in tanks and Humvees. Biodiesel (100%) is even better because it is biodegradable when spilled in an accident. In fact, biodiesel is less toxic to the environment than table sugar. The 2 problems with B100 is that (1) it is an excellent solvent and attacks some natural rubbers, and (2) it jells at higher temperatures than petrodiesel and can clog injectors, fuel lines and filters when it’s really cold outside. Fuel system heaters (add cost) and/or blending with kerosene, petrodiesel or other thinning agent (add petroleum) can solve this problem.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I don't get it, why would diesel be used for safety reasons?
      • 8 Years Ago
      No, there has never been a law requiring use of any particular fuel on schoolbuses. The reason diesel is used is that it gets better milage, thus it reduces fuel costs and makes economic sense. This is the same reason why all long haul trucks use diesel.

      Of course, electricity is even cheaper than diesel, so it may make economic sense to use that instead, when possible.

      A full EV schoolbus makes even more sense than a plug-in hybrid for certain routes. Many schoolbus routes are less than 30 miles, and are scheduled so that they could be run in the morning, recharged, then run again after school lets out. Hybrids and diesel busses could be reserved for those longer runs and special field trips.
      • 8 Years Ago
      50% reduction in fuel consumption when the batteries run low!
      Why can't we get that with normal hybrids?
      Do they have regenerative braking?
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