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GM Allison Hybrid Bus

The GM Allison Hybrid Bus is a 40-foot transit bus that features the Allison Electric Drives EP SYSTEM™, making it one of the first large vehicle commercial hybrid parallel systems featuring a diesel-electric hybrid power-train. Allison Transmission, a unit of General Motors, in partnership with the U. S. Department of Energy, developed the propulsion system under the DOE's Advanced Heavy Hybrid Propulsion System (AH2PS) Program.



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When the bus takes off from a stop, one thing you won't notice is a large puff of black smoke coming from the rear of the bus. This is because GM Allison Hybrid Bus is a full-hybrid, meaning the electric motor will propel the bus at low speeds and only at higher speeds does the diesel engine kick in. The diesel engine is also used to recharge the battery pack along with the regenerative braking system.

Currently the Allison hybrid buses are used to carry passengers in Seattle, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Portland, Salt Lake City, Austin, Hartford, Houston and Orange County, California. According to GM, the Allison Hybrid Bus delivers up to 60 percent better fuel economy than the conventional diesel systems used in city buses.

There's even better news from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, "AH2PS Program has awarded a $9 million, cost-shared, three-year subcontract with Allison Transmission, General Motors Corporation. As part of the 21st Century Truck Partnership (under the FreedomCAR Program), the project will develop and validate advanced, next-generation heavy hybrid propulsion components and systems to significantly increase fuel economy in medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The project will also advance this technology's development toward the DOE's fuel economy goal of 100%, while maintaining the Environmental Protection Agency's emission standards. AH2PS-developed technologies are projected to save 20 million barrels/year of oil in 2010 and 250 million barrels/year of oil in 2020."

The GM Allison Hybrid Bus deliver 90-percent less nitrous oxide into the atmosphere while achieving 50-percent better acceleration than a bus equipped with a normal diesel power-train.

Tom Stephens, group vice president of GM Powertrain says, "The parallel hybrid electric system is the most efficient hybrid architecture available in the world today. In addition to bringing the benefits of hybrid electric technology to commercial vehicles, our Allison Electric Drive System is helping establish hybrid technologies as effective, practical and commercially viable beyond mass transit applications."

This is right in line with the General Motor's game plan of introducing hybrid technology to the largest, most fuel consuming and polluting vehicles first. GM has also developed hybrid technology for its larger truck and SUV market and plans to develop hybrid technology for its automobile market last according to its project schedule.