The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) has added a GM parallel hybrid diesel-electric bus to its mass transit fleet.
PVTA serves the communities in the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts, including Springfield, Westfield, Northampton, Agawam, Amherst, East Longmeadow, Longmeadow, South Hadley, West Springfield and Wilbraham.
Tom Stephens, the GM group vice president in charge of GM Powertrain was on hand for the media event unveiling the new bus, as was Congressman John W. Olver, who secured the funding.
Gillig manufactures the hybrid coach using the GM Allison hybrid powertrain. The hybrid technology in the bus has served as the starting point for the development of the two-mode hybrid drive that GM intends to launch first in the Tahoe and Yukon full-size SUVs in 2007.
Although the hybrid promises reductions in emissions and fuel consumption, recent research conducted by the University of Connecticut found that particle emissions from two GM parallel hybrid diesel-electric buses purchased by CTTransit and emissions from two comparable CTTransit diesel buses were statistically identical.
The research also found that fuel economy for the hybrids was only some 10%–15% better, compared to the claims of up to 50% improvement. (Earlier post.)