January 25, 2011

Va. transit adds hybrid buses to fleet

Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT) is introducing the first hybrid buses in its fleet. The agency plans to replace seven diesel vehicles with the new buses within the next two years.

Powered by a combination of electric and diesel technology, the new buses are part of CAT’s plan to help green Charlottesville’s future. CAT is preparing to replace its existing fleet of 35 clean diesel buses with hybrids over the next 10 years.

“Hybrids reduce fossil fuel use and offer an attractive alternative to the single-passenger automobile,” said Bill Watterson, CATS' manager. “These vehicles build on the city’s vision to have a green and connected community. While transit service by definition benefits the environment, hybrid vehicles are the most green way in which that service can be delivered.”

CAT anticipates using 25 percent to 30 percent less diesel fuel with hybrid vehicles. The first two hybrids alone are expected to consume 7,000 less gallons of fuel annually than their diesel counterparts, with a corresponding cost savings of about $21,000 a year.

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