Thursday, November 02, 2006

Bus of the Future?

I recently came across an article about a new diesel-hybrid bus that is currently under development in Detroit by AutoKinetics. It apparently can get 12-15 mpg, and will have a more comfortable ride than existing buses. It also has wrap-around rear windows, and of course has low-floor boarding for easy access.

My question is -- how long before we can see one of these deployed by Tri-Met?


Garlynn Woodsong said...

FYI: I contacted Tri-Met to inquire if they had any plans to pursue acquisition of these buses, once they have finished the development process. This is the response that I received:

"Frankly, I've not heard of this effort, but when I reviewed the article it
appears it is still in the R&D process. Of course we would be interested in
how and when the technology developed by these folks would end up being
applied to commercial bus construction throughout North America. We're
keenly interested in sustainable products including buses but from the
article I can't determine if these folks are to develop only or market them
too. I suspect it's R&D only and it will be made available to all who might
be able to use it for their own bus business. I'll keep my eyes and ears
open for word of this as it progresses. Thanks for bringing it to my
attention. Please contact me if you need any further information or would
like to discuss further.


Anton A. Bryant
Director, Bus Maintenance

So, there you go -- Tri-Met will likely pursue acquiring some of these buses once they enter production, but it's a bit unclear how we get from here to there right now.

Bong said...

Too bad there still has to be a diesel engine in it at all. Hopefully, it is an engine being built specifically to only use biodiesel fuel and run quieter. If we're really being green, let's make use of all the latest green technology that we can. Keep the green techs hopping to keep developing that which is even more "green".

By the way, did you hear the latest about biodiesel here in Portland? Onr of ciy counsel members, Randy Leonard went to the farmers in Eastern Oregon to sell them on growing more canola to be used in producing more biodiesel. He was pleasantly surprised that they were anticipating such and were more than willing to oblige as soon as contracts can be generated to give them the financial security to do so. I haven't yet checked the data personally but I thought I heard that the city vehicles are using the 90% mix or was it 70% mix of biodiesel for their diesel powered fleet. Which is a hell of a lot higher than the 20% mix that the Port is using in their diesel fleet.