Remember back when we told you about the hybrid buses that IC Corp and Enova Systems were making together for a handful of schools? With today's high cost of diesel and the worries about bus pollution, we wondered how those lucky few feel about their buses now. Thanks to an article in the Wenatchee World, we now know about the experience of the Chelan School District. Their transportation manager, Scott Logan, said there has been a lot to learn but they have been "very impressed" with the vehicle thus far. The hybrid's 9.5 to 18 mpg is an 80 to 300 percent improvement over their standard buses. Because of the low center of gravity and extra distributed weight of the batteries beneath the floorboards, the handling and traction on snow is also much better.

The only drawback is the price tag: $212,000. The district had received a grant from the state Department of Ecology as well as local agencies and private parties to help buy this one. Such a cost wouldn't be easily feasible in the future. Logan did mention he'd been told prices could drop dramatically to $140,000 if 100 or more were ordered. Moving the decimal point a few places tells me that hybrid buses could be affordable if an initial $21.2 million were invested in our childrens school transportation. Doesn't seem like so much to me.

[Source: Wenatchee World]




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