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11 States to Receive IC’s New Hybrid School Buses

Hybrid school bus.

Advanced Energy, a Raleigh, N.C.-based nonprofit corporation, has awarded a contract for up to 19 hybrid school buses for school districts in 11 states to IC corporation. Advanced Energy issued its RFP for the contract on 22 June.

IC Corporation, in collaboration with Enova Systems, unveiled the nation’s first hybrid school bus two weeks ago at the New York Association of Pupil Transportation (NYAPT) Show. The parallel-hybrid school bus is expected to attain a 40% increase in fuel efficiency along with reductions in emissions. (Earlier post.)

Advanced Energy has been an advocate for the development of hybrid school buses—and particularly plug-in hybrid school buses—since 2004. (Earlier post.) IC’s new hybrid school bus offers a plug-in option.

This project provides operational benefits to school districts, while also providing the reduced emissions desired by the US Environmental Protection Agency and a valuable return on investment to school boards. This bid award is the result of several years of collaborative effort among manufacturers, school districts and government agencies to change the school bus market.

These members of Advanced Energy’s buyers’ consortium are currently scheduled to receive hybrid buses:

  • North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (2 buses)
  • South Carolina Department of Educations (2 buses)
  • State of New York (2 buses)
  • Florida Department of Education (2 buses)
  • Napa Valley Unified School District, Napa Valley, Calif. (1 bus)
  • Durham School Services, Everett, Wash. (1 bus)
  • Lake Chelan School District, Chelan, Wash. (1 bus)
  • City of Seattle (1 bus)
  • Little Rock, Ark., School District (1 bus)
  • Sigourney Community School District, Sigourney, Iowa (1 bus)
  • Nevada Community Schools, Nevada, Iowa (1 bus)
  • Killeen Independent School District, Texas (1 bus)
  • Austin Independent School District, Texas (1 bus)
  • Fairfax County, Va. (1 bus)
  • Jennings Transportation, Nazareth, Pa. (1 bus)

The initial powertrain for the hybrid school bus will couple an International VT365 V8 diesel engine with Enova’s post-transmission 80-kilowatt Hybrid Drive System.

We believe that diesel-electric hybrid technology can be made commercially viable for the school bus industry and this collaboration is the next step in making that a reality.

—Michael Cancelliere, vice president and general manager of IC Corporation

Funding to support Advanced Energy’s initiative has come from North Carolina’s electric utilities (Duke Power, Progress Energy, Dominion North Carolina Power and North Carolina electric cooperatives) and the State Energy Office in North Carolina.



John Ard

My girlfirend's mom is a school bus driver and she loves the idea of a hybrid bus as a fuel saver, better torque for hills (our old-as-dirt buses must go to first gear to take most of our hills), decreased maintenance, and the bragging rights of being one of the few in our town who could drive a hybrid (we have only two Prii here). My point is that rural areas would probably benefit more from this because of our older, more polluting equipment it would replace and (at least in the Southeastern U.S.) our general lack of flat ground.


I wonder what they do for weight savings. While it would be a very small impact something like shaving 5 lbs off the weight of every bench would be better than nothing (if there were 10 rows of 2 benches each that gives 100lbs weight savings). The last time I was on a school bus 20 years ago they had steel frames and seemed quite bulky...following the aircraft industries lead with thinner & lighter aluminum seating may be a way to save weight (though aluminum is more expensive to work with than steel). Polycarbonate windows with a thin glass film on the outsides would probably be worth 500-600lbs of weight savings given the amount of glass used in a bus (not to mention make the bus safer versus rolling over with less high mounted weight).


I think there have been previous posts regarding the benefits of reduced exposure of kids to diesel fumes from idling buses. That makes school buses a great place to start with new diesel technology.

allen Z, all vehicles with lots of stop and go driving, with many people around inhaling the fumes, are good candidates for hybrid powertrains. However, with large, heavy vehicles, I do see a possible market for hydraulic hybrids.


i somehow question the appropriateness of the locations to which these buses will go. the number of 40+ year old buses in LA is atrocious, and city environments have a much greater need for this kind of tech.

richard schumacher

Those little things called "Prop 13" and "federalism" get in the way of buying cleaner school busses for LA, or pretty much anything to the public good in California.


eh, new jersey gets even less federal dollars than CA and still manages to have a cleaner bus fleet.

Ewan Pritchard, PE

We have tried and tried to get California interested in these buses, but in general they are anti-diesel. These buses are cleaner than a CNG bus, but because California has this stance towards diesel, while the school bus industry generally refuses to part with diesel - they will always be at an inpasse. Perhaps that is why California has the dirtiest buses in the nation, because they won't accept this moderate solution - Call your congress person please! It feels like Fuel Cells or nothing.


I work with a non profit who is trying to develop electric buses in the state instead of hydrogen...Stay tuned...We know the buses are the worst in the country and we are trying to do something about it. Search for environmental business cluster.

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