The Nikkei reports that Isuzu Motors Ltd. is developing a series hybrid bus that it plans to commercialize in Japan in the first half of the 2010s.
The series hybrid system’s diesel engine can be made roughly 30% smaller than those used in conventional buses and maintains constant revolution regardless of vehicle speed. As a result, Isuzu’s bus delivers 30% better fuel economy than conventional diesel buses. The new system is also about 20% more fuel-efficient than the parallel hybrid system.
Isuzu plans to initially employ the new hybrid system for large buses 9 meters or longer and mid-size buses 7-9 meters in length. Further down the road, it aims to also use the technology in small and mid-size trucks. Isuzu plans to offer public transportation authorities and other potential customers test rides on its series hybrid buses as early as next year.
Isuzu currently offers a parallel diesel-electric hybrid system for its Elf trucks. (Earlier post.)