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The greening of the city bus
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How To Top Categories Computers Home Entertainment Internet Phones Photography Security Tablets ForumsLog In to CNET Join Related Stories Coming soon: Cars that get 100 miles per gallon April 25, 2006 Shell, Exxon Mobil tout a cleaner fuel for megacities November 23, 2005 Powering a new generation of cars September 2, 2005
In the world of hybrid cars and alternative energy, the municipal bus has become the vehicle to watch.
Short driving distances and the stop start nature of urban driving have made buses into something of a test platform for ideas for energy efficient vehicles. Major cities have begun to buy into these buses as well.
San Francisco, for instance, announced this week that it has ordered 56 Orion VII hybrid diesel vehicles from DaimlerChrysler and will have 86 of the buses, which run on diesel and battery power, on the city’s roads by 2007.
New York, meanwhile, already owns several Orion VIIs and has plans to put 1,000 of them on Michael Kors handbag outlet the streets by the end of the year, according to Andreas Renschler, a member of the board of DaimlerChrysler. Toronto has ordered 200.
Daimler also has kicked off a trial in California with the Sprinter, a plug in hybrid delivery vehicle. Plug in hybrids run almost exclusively on electricity and get recharged at night by being plugged into a wall socket. The batteries can take up a substantial amount of space in these cars, but they get far better gas mileage than standard light trucks or other hybrids.
The company is also participating in discount michael kors trials for hydrogen buses in China and 30 cities in Europe.
Why buses? The nature of the tasks they perform fits well with a lot of these technologies. Standard hybrid cars get recharged when the brakes michael kors cheap are applied in a process called regenerative braking. (The replica michael kors mechanical energy of the car is converted to electricity). Drivers hit the brakes in cities cheap Michael Kors a lot, but far less so on the freeway.
Urban buses also don’t get cranked up to top speeds, so the electrical engine can perform more of the work of propelling it forward.
“For long mileage driving, a hybrid is not the right thing. If you drove from San Francisco to New York, you’d lose all of the benefits of a hybrid,” Renschler fake cheap Michael kors handbags said. “But for stop and go, it is the perfect solution.”
Similarly, hydrogen dovetails well with bus driving. Because buses generally don’t go long distances, drivers don’t have to worry about being stranded miles away replica cheap Michael Kors from a hydrogen filling station: One can be built close to the bus routes. The fact that hydrogen vehicles sometimes top out at 90 miles an hour isn’t a problem with buses, which typically lumber along at 30 miles per hour or less.
Daimler actually put a hydrogen bus on the streets of Stuttgart, Germany, in 1969, said a company representative. “It worked well, but there was no interest because gas prices were low.”
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said the city conducted a study from 2001 to 2003 and examined several types of energy efficient buses before placing the orders for the Orion diesel hybrids. Buses that run on compressed natural gas, used in cheap michael kors bags some cities, wouldn’t work well in hilly San Francisco, he said.
The city is also looking at
biodiesel powered and fuel cell buses.
“Our goal is to be 100 percent emission free in municipal cheap michael kors purses transportation by 2020,” Newsom said.
From a rider’s perspective, the Orion VII isn’t much different than a standard bus. It comes with somewhat fewer seats, but doesn’t make nearly as much noise. It emits a humming sound, rather like a large meat refrigerator.
Right now, energy efficiency isn’t cheap. The Orion VII buses cost around $488,000 apiece. A standard diesel bus might cost $250,000 to $280,000, according to the Daimler representative. The Orion VII gets about 4.5 miles to the gallon that’s not much compared with a Toyota Prius, but standard buses get only about 3.5 miles per gallon.
The buses also reduce the particulates spewing out of the tailpipe by about 90 percent. Nitrogen/oxygen compounds are reduced cheap michael kors by about 40 percent, and greenhouse gases overall are reduced by about 30 percent.Articles Connexes：