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LeeTran to introduce its first hybrid bus

By Staff | Dec 7, 2009

LeeTran will introduce its first hybrid bus to the public at a ceremony at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10, at Florida Gulf Coast University.
The innovative hybrid vehicle is a demonstration project for the state of Florida, funded in part by the Federal Transit Administration and the Florida Department of Transportation. It is an ultra-low emission gasoline-electric hybrid, the first to go into service outside the state of California.
The unique hybrid electric drive system was developed by ISE Corporation of California, and installed in a 40-foot Gillig bus. The drive system requires no transmission; an ultracapacitor energy storage system distributes charge to the electric motors. A regenerative braking system recaptures kinetic energy from the vehicle as it slows down, further enhancing fuel efficiency.
This technology provides higher fuel efficiency and emits over 40 percent less NOx than similar diesel hybrids. Although the fuel savings will vary depending upon driving conditions, LeeTran may see a 30 percent to 100 percent gain in fuel economy.
FDOT has offered the services of the University of Southern Florida Center for Urban Transit Research to independently validate all of the data necessary to certify the vehicle for operation on Florida roadways. Coach Crafters of Tavares was selected to provide maintenance support.
“Transit agencies in California report that this technology provides a smooth, quiet ride and reduced maintenance costs due to increased brake life,” said Steve Myers, LeeTran’s Transit director in a prepared statement. “We plan to test the vehicle on a variety of routes and share the data with our partners in the industry.”
At the Dec. 10 ceremony, hosted by FGCU President Dr. Wilson G. Bradshaw in front of the Student Union Building, the public and invited guests will learn about LeeTran’s future plans for expanding its hybrid fleet.

Source: Lee County Department of Transportation