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Plug-in buses are not a new idea (examples here, here and here) but transportation planners in China seem to think that there is a benefit to getting them on the streets that goes beyond reducing fuel costs. A plug-in hybrid school bus developed by Enova Systems and IC Bus, for example, saw a 70 percent drop in diesel use, but the real benefit to the emerging plug-in bus network in cities like Beijing, where 50 such buses are in use now and 250 more are scheduled to go into service this year, co

Porsche 918 Spyder Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Proterra electric bus – Click above for high-res image gallery

Hybrid transit bus deployments are picking up steam all across North America. King County, in Washington, has placed an order for 500 new Orion VII diesel-electric hybrid buses from Daimler Buses North America. King County already has an extensive fleet of hybrid buses and the first batch of 93 Orions are due for delivery in mid-2010. OC Transpo in the Canadian capital of Ottawa also ordered 80 more of the hybrid buses, taking its total fleet size to 177 units. With its current in-service hybrid

Mercedes-Benz builds more than fancy li-ion hybrid cars. The company's buses, notably the Citaro series, are quite a common sight in European cities. The German company has announced that the new generation of the Citaro G model, known as "bendy-buses" in England, will include BlueTec technology (NOx reduction with AdBlue) paired up with hybrid technology, making it the first series production hybrid bus available for European markets. The Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid uses the most powerful lithium-i

Despite the lackluster sales from rival company BYD, Chinese automaker FAW has announced a new manufacturing plant that will specialize in building hybrid vehicles. Set to be completed in 2012, the automaker expects to build about 1,000 hybrid buses and 11,000 hybrid sedans per year at the new plant, which seems like a bit of a stretch for a company that had previously announced a steady plan to build hybrid in much smaller numbers (100 hybrid buses and 20 hybrid sedans in 2009, 200 hybrid buses

RATP, the public-owned company that manages most of Paris' public transport system, is currently performing tests using a hybrid bus outfitted with ultracapacitors. For now, the test buses are passenger-free. The model, called Lion's City Hybrid, is supplied by German manufacturer MAN and the company claims it reduces fuel consumption about 20 to 25 percent. RATP is testing the bus in four different bus lines, which represent four different types of bus lines configurations, from suburban medium

Click above for a gallery of the Volvo FE hybrid truck

Believe it or not, European cities are a little behind in incorporating hybrid powertrains to their fleets. Not long ago we mentioned a Spanish-made bus by Castrosua. This bus began tests on the streets of Barcelona this week. The Tempus, as it's called, mates an electric powertrain to Iveco's smallest diesel engine. It measures 9.5 meters long and 2.55 meters wide, perfect for old city centers. According to TMB, Barcelona's public transport operator, the bus is saving at least 20 percent of the

Photo by resedabear. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.

Spanish busmaker Castrosúa has unveiled its first hybrid bus. Named Tempus, the new electric-diesel-powered bus will be ready this summer. Developed with a company called Mormendi, the Tempus is the child of a young industrial engineer called Jaime Moreno. Tempus has already won the "Spanish Bus of the Year" award for 2009 - that was fast - and Madrid and Barcelona are among the cities that will get some units for testing. The Tempus has two electric motors that power the rear wheels. The

Burbank Bus has announced that they will be trying out the world's very first plug-in hydrogen fuel cell hybrid transit bus (say that fast 5 times), the Proterra HFC35, beginning this Spring. Now, we've had all-electric buses, turbine-powered hybrid buses and even a plug-in school buses gracing the pages of AutoblogGreen before, but we must admit that this is probably the first bus with this exact configuration.

France has become the latest country in Europe to get hybrid buses. The Alsatian capital, Strasbourg (which also hosts the European Parliament), received a hybrid unit from Solaris Bus & Coach company, which will start working next year. An additional unit will be introduced afterwards. The model, called Urbino 18 Hybrid, is claimed to reduce fuel consumption by 23 to 24 percent, as well as reduce emissions: 13 percent less NOx, 25 percent less CO2 and 78 percent fewer particles. Solaris Bus

Although European cities have a lot of the latest trends in urban mobility, there aren't many hybrid buses on their streets. Volvo thinks that this could be a good moment to introduce hybrid buses, and has recently introduced the 7700 model. Claimed to reduce fuel consumption by 30 percent, Volvo says the bus will pays for itself in 5 to 7 years. It produces 30 percent less CO2 and 40 to 50 percent fewer particles and nitrogen oxides. Called I-SAM, the hybrid transmission is based on current I-S

There was a bevy of transit officials and politicians assembled Friday at West Brighton's Castleton Depot as the first 15 Orion VII Next Generation Hybrid-Electric buses were officially feted on Staten Island. These are just a few of the 850 strong order on its way to New York. Staten Island will receive 159 of these which will make the gas-saving hybrids a full 51 percent of the fleet. At $514,000 apiece the buses aren't cheap, but officials expect them to require less maintenance as well as sa

Volvo has announced plans to launch a new hybrid bus for Europe at the IAA Bus and Truck Show in Hanover, Germany this September. No stranger to building big hybrids, Volvo had been waiting to have a go at a bus until it was more "commercially viable." Now, with many parts based on standard products, the company believes it is approaching a "generational shift" and will be able to save customers up to 30 percent of their fuel cost which would allow them to recover the extra bump in the price tag