Last month, the contractor increased the number of its hybrid school buses using the XLH system from connected vehicle electrification manufacturer XL. The system, which is approved by the New York State Department of Transportation for both Ford and GM HEV school and shuttle bus chassis, uses regenerative braking to decelerate and electric assist to accelerate.
“Upon acceleration you feel (the hybrid system) right away,” explained Marty Hoffman, vice president and co-owner of Careful Bus. “There’s a certain smoothness. You’re not driving a fully electric vehicle but that first couple of seconds you feel like you are in one. Then there is no difference (compared to a regular gasoline bus) but you can feel the regenerative charging when braking.”
Hoffman said the family-owned company has already seen a more than 25-percent increase in fuel economy, a 20-percent decrease in carbon dioxide emissions and a 20-percent increase in front-wheel brake life.