May 16, 2005

Hybrid bus ready to roll in Kelowna

KELOWNA, BC-On May 4, General Motors of Canada and Winnipeg-based New Flyer Industries delivered Canada's first new hybrid bus to BC Transit, which will put the bus into service on the streets of Kelowna. BC Transit, the agency responsible for municipal transit systems across the province, is the first transit system in Canada to put GM's advanced hybrid diesel-electric system in regular service. The agency purchased six 40-foot (12-metre) hybrid buses to evaluate environmental and economic benefits of operating these buses; three are going to the Kelowna Regional Transit System and three to the Victoria Regional Transit System. Under the transit agreement, the local governments cost-share vehicle operating and debt retirement expenses with the provincial government through BC Transit. The GM hybrid system uses dual electric motors for regenerative braking; these slow the bus down and capture the energy into the advanced battery system. The captured electrical energy is then used to assist the acceleration of the bus from a stop using quiet electric motors. The system delivers both fuel economy and a reduction of up to 90% in transportation-related emissions compared to conventional diesel buses. By the end of 2005, New Flyer expects to have approximately 400 hybrid buses in operation in North America, logging some two million revenue service miles. More information is available on-line at www.bctransit.com.

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