A new hybrid petrol/electric propulsion system for buses has been launched at an American exhibition.
BAE Systems showed off a new version of its HybriDrive system to audiences attending the American Public Transportation Association Annual Meeting and Expo in New Orleans.
The HDS 300 is aimed at articulated vehicles - dubbed 'bendy buses' in the UK - which can carry more passengers, making them a greener option from the outset.
BAE hybrid systems are already in use in over 3,500 buses worldwide, notching up an impressive 300 million miles, but this is the first time the company has produced a propulsion product with enough juice to power vehicles weighing up to 63,000 lbs.
Steve Trichka of BAE Systems said: "Transit authorities around the world that incorporate higher capacity articulated buses in their fleets to achieve lower operational costs, now can save even further by incorporating HybriDrive propulsion systems,"
BAE says its HybriDrive system has cut out 280,000 tons of Carbon dioxide emissions and kept 25 million gallons of diesel in the pumps.
The system uses an electric motor, a mechanism for storing energy and a generator. BAE systems says there are further savings to public transport operators because there is no mechanical transmission to wear out and break down. The diesel engine powers the generator while the electric motor works separately to drive the vehicle forward.
BAE Systems says it is working with bus companies in the United States of America and Canada to see its new system follow the previous HDS 200 into service on the roads of North America.
Top Image Credit: © BAE Systems