Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Hybrid diesel-electric buses topped three out of four categories in preliminary tests of competing bus technologies and fuels, says a report going to the TransLink [Vancouver area's Transit System] board of directors Wednesday.
But TransLink staff acknowledged the tests could have been designed better and that problems that may have hurt the results posted by compressed natural gas buses have been ironed out for a second test phase.
The first phase compared new conventional diesel buses equipped with particulate filters, compressed natural gas (CNG) buses, hybrid diesel-electric buses and biodiesel buses, with older diesel buses used as a baseline.
The hybrid buses posted the best fuel efficiency, the lowest fuel costs and the lowest exhaust emissions, while the new diesel buses had the lowest life-cycle costs. [print article defines "life-cycle cost" as sum of purchase-price, maintenance, fuel, and driver's salary]
TransLink will use the test results to help guide future bus purchases. [NOTE: Their test fleet also includes hydrogen fuel-cell buses too!]