Hydraulic Hybrid Transit Bus Unveiled

What’s being called the world’s first hydraulic hybrid transit bus was unveiled recently. Known as the the LCO-140H (Low-Cost of Ownership-1st 40-foot Hybrid), the launch is the culmination of an effort to lower the total cost of ownership and environmental impact of commercial buses without updating the infrastructure of existing transit authorities.

According to its developer, the LCO-140H fuel economy results are 110 percent better than conventional diesel buses and 30 percent better than other diesel-electric hybrid buses available today. The LCO-140 achieved a fuel economy of 6.9 MPG when tested using the downtown “stop-and-go” duty cycles and test protocol established by the Federal Transit Authority (FTA) for transit bus certification testing.

hybrid bus

image via Altair

Compared to a conventional diesel bus, the LCO-140H is projected to lower the cost of ownership by $170,000 per bus. With the average local transit authority operating approximately 300 buses, the savings could reduce a city’s cost of transit bus operation by approximately $50 million. When compared to an estimated $27 million increase in operational costs for a similar electric hybrid fleet, it is thought the LCO-140H could go a long way to help in greening transit fleets as well as their operating budgets.

The bus was developed as part of a public-private partnership known as the BUSolutions program in partnership with Altair Engineering and  Automation Alley. BUSolutions has been funded by multiple federal and state programs including the FTA and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Steve Duda lives in West Seattle, WA with three dogs and a lot of outdoor gear. A part-time fly fishing fishing guide and full-time writer, Steve’s work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Seattle Weekly, American Angler, Fly Fish Journal, The Drake, Democracy Now! and many others.