Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Jim McBride, and Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality Director, John Corra, celebrated the arrival of the first Diesel Hybrid school bus to Wyoming Friday.
The bus, which utilizes both a diesel engine and an electric battery driven motor, has the potential to save up to 1100 gallons of gas per year, improve fuel economy by up to 65 percent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 39 percent.
The bus was purchased through a partnership between the Wyoming Departments of Environmental Quality and Education with funds awarded by the U.S. EPA Clean Diesel Grant Program. The bus cost $196,500.
The bus will be rotated to different school districts across the state to test its capabilities at various locations. That rotation will allow the collection of data on how the bus performs in different altitudes, traffic conditions and travel distances, as well as provide multiple school districts the opportunity to try out the bus. The first district will be Sublette County School District 1 in Pinedale followed by Sublette 9, Sweetwater 1, and Sweetwater 2.
IC Bus of Warrenville, Illinois, produces the hybrid buses and said the bus is capable of up to 13 miles per gallon. The hybrid system recovers kinetic energy during regenerative braking, which charges the batteries while the bus is slowing down. The hybrid system is recharged by plugging it into a standard outlet at night or between routes.
The hybrid bus comes with the same safety features as other buses such as the "Leave No Student Behind" system and the electric door interlock system that prevents the door from opening while in motion.