Monday, December 17, 2012

Gillig Hybrid at the garage

From RiderInsider -

Sneak peek: Four new hybrid buses are joining the fleet

Of the 55 brand-new buses we purchased this year, four are next-generation hybrid-electric vehicles. After making the trek from the Gillig bus factory in Hayward, California, the new hybrids are now on site, and our crews are preparing them to go into service. After the buses hit the road in January, we'll be testing them for fuel efficiency and maintenance needs. This year, we began replacing our oldest buses, which are not only uncomfortable for riders and operators, they are unreliable and expensive for us to maintain.

PHOTOS: New hybrid bus at the bus garage


Al M said...

You over at Center Street Max?

h. h. said...

I'm not understanding why Trimet has to use four buses to test "for performance, maintenance needs and fuel efficiency" when many other agencies around the country have already concluded that hybrid technology is worth the investment pertaining to those issues. Seattle has been using hybrids for years and I believe they are ordering ALL their new replacements with hybrids.

Ryan Beasley said...

H.H. CNG busses are the way to go!

Max said...

Al: No that's TriMet's photo, not mine.

Al M said...


h. h. said...

@Ryan, Yes, I once thought that too. However, several agencies, including Seattle's Metro (and Sound Transit), I believe have concluded that an all CNG fleet would be 1) much less reliable than diesel buses and more costly to maintain, 2) substantially less energy efficient than diesels especially in urban service, and 3) significantly more expensive overall to operate than diesels.

Agencies that are hybrid proponents; again, Seattle, tend to conclude that hybrids are the best of both diesel and electric propulsion. Diesel engines are becoming so much more cleaner and emission efficient than in the past and electric propulsion not only being clean but offers excellent acceleration on take off and going up steep hills. So the combination of fuel economy, very low emissions, excellent accelerations from stops and climbing hills, and relatively good maintenance costs and decent reliability make diesel hybrids a good choice over CNG.

Seattle once was ready to go with LNG but scrapped that at the last minute partially due to very high costs for capital transition (fueling stations) but also because of concerns about reliability and maintenance costs. CNG capital costs would have been lower but still, it appears that Seattle has discounted any natural gas alternatives for the time being in favor of diesel hybrids.