Lansing, Michigan’s Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) added three buses powered by General Motors’ diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system and manufactured by New Flyer to its mass transit fleet. The three vehicles are the first hybrid buses to enter service in the state of Michigan.
The city of Lansing is the 39th community to invest in transit buses powered by GM’s hybrid technology, which offers greater fuel economy and significantly reduced emissions compared with conventional diesel buses.
Buses powered by the GM-Allison advanced hybrid powertrain deliver significantly better fuel economy than traditional buses and produce up to 60% fewer oxides of nitrogen emissions and 90% fewer particulate, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions. Other benefits of the buses include reduced maintenance costs resulting from extended brake, engine oil and transmission oil life; providing 50 percent faster acceleration compared with conventional diesel buses, and operational sound levels approaching that of passenger cars.
Since 2004, more than 475 GM hybrid-powered buses have been delivered to 38 communities in the U.S. and Canada. The estimated annual combined fuel savings for the 478 GM hybrid-powered buses is 700,000 gallons. By the end of the year, another 127 GM hybrid-powered buses are expected to be delivered to transit authorities across North America.
The two-mode hybrid technology in these buses has served as the starting point for GM’s co-development with DaimlerChrysler and BMW Group of a two-mode hybrid system for light-duty vehicles that GM will launch next year in the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon full-size SUVs, followed by the Cadillac Escalade in 2008.
Because of its low- and high-speed electric continuously variable transmission (ECVT) modes, the system being developed for light-duty vehicles is commonly referred to as the 2-mode hybrid. However, the system also incorporates four fixed-gear ratios for high efficiency and power-handling capabilities in a broad variety of vehicle applications. (Earlier post.)
During the two ECVT modes and four fixed-gear operations, the hybrid system can use the electric motors for boosting and regenerative braking. The four fixed gears overlay two ECVT modes for a total of six operating functions.