|Hybrid school bus prototype.|
IC Corporation, North America’s largest school bus manufacturer and a subsidiary of International Truck and Engine, is working with Enova Systems to introduce the nation’s first hybrid school bus. (Earlier post.)
The two companies have developed a prototype school bus with a hybrid diesel-electric drivetrain that is currently undergoing testing.
The project couples Enova’s parallel post-transmission 80kW hybrid drive system with an International VT365 turbocharged V8 diesel engine. The Enova drive system includes the transmission, batteries and permanent magnet motor. Regenerative braking will recharge the batteries.
The hybrid drivetrain will deliver an estimated 40% increase in fuel economy, along with greatly reduced emissions, according to Enova. The partners expect to deliver the prototype to a customer in spring 2006.
With fuel prices at all-time highs, new innovations in hybrid technology are needed to help customers keep their operating costs lower. We feel that this technology could provide significantly improved fuel economy. In addition, even though current International diesel engines produce no visible smoke and low emissions, the hybrid program will reduce engine emissions even further.—Michael Cancelliere, VP and general manager, IC Corporation
The hybrid bus announcement is the continuation of research and development for new technology in a number of different vehicles. IC Corporation’s parent, International Truck and Engine, is working on hybrid trucks for the utility industry with Eaton. (Earlier post.)
International Truck and Engine Corporation is a member of the Advisory Board for the Hybrid Electric Bus Project, which was formed in 2003 in North Carolina.