Clean Cities Success: Hybrid School Buses

March 3, 2012

By Motor Week

Lansing, Michigan has the state’s first hybrid-electric school buses. Dean Transportation, a locally-owned school bus company, acquired the Thomas Built Saf-T-Liner C2e buses in 2010 to help reduce student exposure to exhaust emissions. The 4 buses use an Eaton hybrid system that combines a diesel engine with an electric motor/generator. Batteries can provide electric only drive for up to 15 miles and are partially recharged by a regenerative braking system. The result, lower tailpipe emissions and less dependence on petroleum…

PATRICK DEAN: We’ve seen a huge reduction in amount of fuel we’re using, 20% increase in fuel economy as well as reduction in maintenance expenses for these hybrid systems.

 The project was made possible by a grant through the Greater Lansing Area Clean Cities Coalition—that also funded improvements to the school bus fleet at Grand Ledge Public Schools. A clear road for making a “greener” learning experience in mid-Michigan.