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IC Corporation Working with Enova on First Hybrid School Bus

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.



Good, now maybe when the busses pick up kids at the schooL yard they (the busses) can turn their engines off and stop idiling them and stop killing kids who breath in all that diesel smoke that comes in the bus when loading.


It's sad to know that no government funding is available....


this is amazingly good news. as JJ said, the amount of time school buses spend idling makes them especially useful hybrids.
keep us posted, Mike!

tom deplume

The bus idling problem is essentially a climate control problem. Air conditioning and heat either comes from the engine or from the battery. A hybrid would presumably have enough battery capacity to run a heat pump and/or a resistance heater so the engine doesn't need to run.


not always. in some parts of the country, there is a significant amount of time during the year when neither a/c nor heating is needed. therefore, the buses idle for no real reason, other than (possibly?) age-old misconceptions that it's better to leave the engine running in idle for 5 minutes instead of shutting it off and then starting up again.

Roger Conner Jr

The development of this bus is interesting, and holds promise. Not to be overlooked however is the hydraulic hybrid developments for buses, trucks, short haul delivery vehicles, etc. The hydraulic hybrid has been mentioned here on greencarcongress, the case in point being the EPA/Eaton project Ford Navigator, and the results were about equal to what is being claimed above for the school bus, a 40% increase in fuel economy. The system works by having a Diesel engine "charge" a set of accumulators with hydraulic pressure through regenerative braking and/or an engine driven pump and then use that energy on acceleration and local hill climbing, to be recharged again when the bus is braking or going down hills. For a stop and go vehicle like a school bus, it seems ideal.

Bludney Plud

Great! Now just add Biodiesel, and you've eliminated another asthma incubator for children to ride in!


I do not understand why the experiment involves school buses. Why not regular cars?



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