Toronto Transit Bus Batteries Prematurely Degrading

The lead acid batteries were upposed to last five years, but about a third of them in use in the current fleet of 275 hybrids - which started arriving in 2006 - have already worn out.

Published: 19-May-2008

The box-like batteries on top of the Toronto Transit Commission's brand new and premium-priced hybrid electric-diesel buses are lasting only half as long as their manufacturer promised.

They were supposed to last five years, but about a third of the lead-acid battery cells in use in the current fleet of 275 hybrids - which started arriving in 2006 - have already worn out, Gary Webster, the TTC's chief general manager, said in an interview.

The battery failures come on top of TTC testing that has shown the buses are producing just half the expected fuel savings, using just 10 per cent instead of 20 to 30 per cent less diesel than a conventional bus, although TTC officials expect this number to improve.

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