King County, Washington today awarded New Flyer Industries a contract for the purchase of up to 500 articulated buses, most of which will be powered by General Motors’ 2-mode hybrid system. The five-year contract could be worth as much as $400 million.
King County has been operating a fleet of 214 GM hybrid-powered buses since 2004. With the addition of this contract, King County could have a total of 714 buses, giving it the largest fleet of hybrid-articulated buses in history.
Innovative public-private partnerships such as this put King County in a leadership position to help combat global warming. We will put a new rapid transit bus service on the streets with the first 122 articulated hybrids ordered. The size of this contract demonstrates our commitment to transit and the resulting benefits to our residents for improved air quality and traffic congestion.—King County Executive Ron Sims
Currently, 720 buses with GM’s 2-mode hybrid system have been delivered to 56 cities across the US and Canada. The potential addition of up to 500 buses in King County will bring the North American total to more than 1,200 GM hybrid-powered, saving an estimated 1.75 million gallons of fuel annually.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) conducted a one-year comparative study between conventional diesel buses and GM hybrid-powered buses operating on a typical King County drive cycle. Results showed that the GM-hybrid powered buses lowered fuel consumption by 23%; NOxby 18%; carbon monoxide (CO) by 60%; and total hydrocarbon (THC) by 56% when compared to conventional diesel buses.
King County Metro Transit Hybrid Articulated Buses: Final Evaluation Results (NREL/TP-540-40585)