Hybrid Buses on the Road in Guadalajara
Two new hybrid buses are now in circulation

Two new hybrid buses are now in circulation in Guadalajara's public transportation system. Photo via www.informador.com.mx.

Employing hybrid technologies in public transportation allows cities to run more buses with fewer greenhouse gas emissions, while also helping to reduce total vehicle kilometers traveled, congestion, and road injuries and fatalities.

Earlier this month in Guadalajara—Mexico’s second largest city—industrial manufacturer Eaton Corp. deployed two hybrid buses. The model is a 12-meter bus, YoungMan Neoplan. They will be integrated into Guadalajara’s intra-city bus service operated by state-owned Servicios y Transportes (SyT).

Daniel Ramirez, SyT’s transport services manager, said that these buses respond to environmental and social problems. They are expected to “reduce carbon emissions by 60 percent compared to conventional diesel buses and allow access for all people, with an access ramp that facilitates the entry of people in wheelchairs or with other disabilities.”

The system uses a traditional bus diesel engine with an electric motor. The system stores energy in four lithium-ion batteries and the buses feature start-stop technology that automatically switches off the engine when the bus is stationary, such as at bus stops, and turns it back on when power is needed to reduce emissions.  According to EMBARQ.org, the producer of this blog:

“Each bus costs $300,000 and measures 12 meters long, with a capacity for 99 passengers. The diesel-electric hybrid engine and body was designed in collaboration with technology company YoungMan Neoplan.

It is the technology winner in the short term for energy consumption and emission reductions,’ said Dario Hidalgo, EMBARQ’s director of research and practice. ‘The technology is already commercially available, but there are still problems regarding the capital costs and some uncertainties regarding maintenance costs and lifespan.’

The buses are expected to last longer than standard diesel buses, but there is no evidence, yet, since most applications were introduced only within the last five years, Hidalgo adds.

The new buses will operate on Route 24, which includes the Jardines de Nuevo México, Basílica de Zapopan, América, López Mateos, Plaza del Sol, Santa Ana Tepetitlán, and return on the bridge extension Solectrón por Prolongación López Mateos, to meet the demand of the users in Guadalajara and Zapopan.

With its new hybrid buses, Guadalajara will join the likes of Nanching, China; Reunion Island; Taiwan Australia and parts of Europe. The buses will operate in corridors separate from the city’s BRT system, Macrobus, which was launched in March 2009.

Companies such as FedEx, UPS, Coca-Cola Enterprises, PepsiCo and Wal-Mart are also using Eaton’s hybrid delivery vehicles. Other companies, like Siemens AG, have deployed their hybrid bus technology in major cities like London and Nuremberg, Germany.

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