Yellow buses go green

IC Corporation has unveiled the US’ first hybrid school bus at the New York Association of Pupil Transportation (NYAPT) Show.

IC Corporation, the US’s largest manufacturer of the familiar yellow school bus, has unveiled the country’s first hybrid school bus at the New York Association of Pupil Transportation (NYAPT) Show.

 

The company, a subsidiary of Navistar International Corporation, has teamed up with Enova Systems to develop the bus that can give an approximate 40 per cent increase in fuel economy.

 

“We feel that this technology provides significantly improved fuel economy,” said Michael Cancelliere, vice president and general manager of IC Corporation. “In addition, even though current International diesel engines produce no visible smoke and minimal emissions, the hybrid program will reduce engine emissions even further.”

 

The project features Enova’s post-transmission 80kW Hybrid Drive System and was extensively tested and evaluated at IC Corporation’s research and technology facility in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

 

The initial powertrain for the hybrid school bus will couple an International VT365 V8 diesel engine with an 80kW hybrid-electric powertrain, incorporating a transmission, batteries and an electric motor. The system is based on a parallel architecture, allowing the system to utilise both diesel and electric power in a highly efficient manner.

 

The system recovers kinetic energy during regenerative braking, charging the batteries while the bus is slowing down. This provides additional power for acceleration, making the hybrid buses ideal because of the frequent starting and stopping of the bus.

 

The first hybrid school bus will be delivered by Leonard Bus Sales in Deposit, New York, to one of the largest school districts in the state, ShenendehowaCentralSchool. The deal is pending final approval on a grant to help fund the purchase.