March 24, 2010

Ariz.'s Sun Tran introduces hybrid bus



The City of Tucson, Ariz. and Sun Tran introduced a new hybrid bus branded with an earth-friendly message that reminds residents of the transit agency's commitment to the environment.

The hybrid-electric bus utilizes a 600-volt battery pack, which is recharged while the bus is coasting and braking. When the brakes are applied, the regenerative braking system captures energy expelled as heat and sends it to the battery pack. This engine delivers better acceleration than a bus equipped with a conventional diesel engine, and the hybrid system computer determines which mode of power is most efficient to move the bus.

Sun Tran and the City of Tucson began experimenting with alternative fuels more than two decades ago. As early as 1987, Sun Tran converted a 35-foot GMC bus to use both compressed natural gas (CNG) and diesel fuel. The purchase of a hybrid bus further demonstrates Sun Tran's commitment to exploring alternative fuel options.

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