'Magic' Fuel-Saving Buses Fall a Bit Short on Wonders

GM hybrid buses operating in Seattle seen falling short on fuel economy while delivering on promise of less pollution.

Published: 28-Dec-2004

ASHINGTON, Dec. 25 - The fleet of hybrid buses that General Motors promised would save Seattle more than 750,000 gallons of fuel a year will actually save less than half that amount, according to the fleet operator, and although G.M. said the hybrid buses would show a fuel economy improvement of up to 60 percent, the savings around the country appear to be in the range of 10 percent to 20 percent, transit managers say.

General Motors, which got a late start bringing hybrid technology to market in cars, has argued that buses are a better vehicle to convert to hybrid drive, because they are used more heavily than cars.

"We decided we would go after hybrids by going after the highest consuming vehicles first" because that would save the most petroleum, said Tom Stephens, a G.M. vice president for powertrains.


Playing catch-up a decade late, the world's auto giants now find that they have to lease or buy technology from Toyota.

Spc. Jeffrey Hamme and Staff Sgt. Michelangelo Merksamer of HHC, 1/506th Infantry, point out features of the Hybrid Electric Humvee at the AUSA Annual Meeting earlier this month. The two Soldiers participated in a Military Utility Assessment of the prototype vehicle last month at Fort Campbell, Ky.

Ford's 'Hybrid Patrol,' a 10-city initiative this fall that aims to show hybrid drivers how to drive for best fuel economy. EV World photo of Bill and Lisa Hammond on way to first Ford Patrol event in Detroit during stop-over in Omaha.


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