Sun Tran introduces new hybrid bus - Tucson News Now

Sun Tran introduces new hybrid bus

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By Karla Ronquillo - email

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) - Sun Tran is introducing its new hybrid bus.

The City of Tucson and Sun Tran leaders say its part of furthering the City's use of alternative fuels and helping improve air quality in the community.

They say the bus runs on hybrid electric technology which combines the internal combustion engine of a conventional vehicle with the battery and electric motor of an electric vehicle.

By using this technology, the combination offers low emissions, with the power, range and convenient fueling of conventional fuel powered vehicles. 

Sun Tran leaders say the hybrid bus uses a 600 volt battery pack, which is recharged while the bus is coasting and braking.

They say when the brakes are applied, the regenerative braking system captures energy expelled as heat and sends it to the battery pack. 

Sun Tran says 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.

When accelerating, the bus uses 100 percent electric power from zero to 17 miles per hour, a combination of biodiesel and electric power from 17 to 40 miles power, and all biodiesel power above 40 miles per hour.

Additionally, this hybrid bus achieves up to 60 percent better fuel efficiency as compared to a bus with a conventional diesel engine. 

This bus produces lower hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions, which lowers particulate emissions by up to 90 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 50 percent, helping to improve air quality in our community.  

"The message on the bus, "We have a care in the world," depicts our continued efforts to use fuels that reduce our dependence on foreign oil and lessen the negative impacts on our environment," said Katrina Heineking, General Manager of Sun Tran.

"We encourage our community to support these efforts by riding public transportation," said Heineking.

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