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Nations’s First Hybrid Schools Buses Will Roll in Florida


BRADENTON, Fla. - The School District of Manatee County in Bradenton, Fla., will become the first school district in the country to receive hybrid school buses through the Plug-In Hybrid Electric School Bus Project. Manatee School District’s two hybrid school buses are part of the 19 hybrid buses awarded nationwide by Advanced Energy, a non-profit corporation that initiated a buyer’s consortium of school districts, state energy agencies and student transportation providers.

The hybrid school buses, manufactured by the leading school bus manufacturer IC Corporation and hybrid drivetrain manufacturer Enova Systems, provide 70-100 percent better fuel economy and a 90 percent reduction in diesel engine emissions. Officials from the School District of Manatee County will be presented with the revolutionary new buses during a press conference at Braden River High School at 10 a.m. Eastern time on Friday, March 9.

“We are proud to be pioneers in this exciting new area of transportation technology which will help us field a more fuel efficient bus fleet that produces less harmful emissions,” said Roger Dearing, Manatee School District Superintendent. “This provides a powerful example to our students and community about the need to take positive action when it comes to addressing our nation’s energy and environmental challenges.”

While the exterior of the school bus looks the same, it is powered with innovative new technology. The hybrid school bus project features Enova’s Charge Depleting System (or “Plug In”), which was extensively tested and evaluated at IC Corporation’s research and technology facility in Fort Wayne, Ind. With an overnight charge, this system utilizes a larger battery based on advanced battery chemistry that provides stored energy intended to be drawn down over the driving cycle, thus optimizing fuel economy. Depending on the route, fuel economy is expected to improve by 70-100 percent. The hybrid system can also reduce emissions by up to 90 percent.

“This project provides operational benefits to school districts, while also providing the reduced emissions desired by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a valuable return on investment to school boards,” said Ewan Pritchard, P.E., Advanced Energy’s hybrid program manager.

The initial powertrain for the hybrid school bus will couple an International® VT365 V8 diesel engine with the 25/80-kilowatt hybrid-electric powertrain, incorporating a transmission, batteries and an electric motor. The system is based on a parallel architecture, allowing the system to utilize both diesel and electric power in a highly efficient manner.

“Enova’s unique Post Transmission System offers a non-invasive solution to enter the hybrid vehicle market in either the retrofit or new vehicle segment,” said Mike Staran, Enova’s Executive Vice President. “The system is comprised of a proprietary AC induction electric motor, controller and energy management system and is designed and engineered as a total production ready solution.”

The hybrid school buses are also outfitted with a proprietary GPS system called AWARETM Vehicle Intelligence that allows school officials to track the exact location and performance of the school bus via a password-protected site on the Internet.

“IC Corporation’s hybrid school bus revolutionizes the school bus industry,” said Michael Cancelliere, vice president and general manager of IC Corporation. “Improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions helps school districts and the environment. IC Corporation is committed to environmental leadership and delivering value to our customers.”

Later this, year other school districts around the country will be receiving the remaining 17 IC Corporation hybrid school buses awarded in Advanced Energy’s bid.


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