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    First On Planet: LB Transit To Put Production Hybrid Gasoline-Electric Buses Into Regular Service, Says They're Better Than LNG

    Ebus 6/18/05(June 18, 2005) -- LB Transit is scheduled to become the first transit agency in the world to put production hybrid gasoline-electric buses into regular service on June 20, declaring that in testing, the hybrids beat Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses (chosen by other transit agencies years ago as a successor to diesel) on fuel efficiency, emissions and projected lifetime vehicle cost.

    In a written release LB Transit's new hybrid buses -- decaled "E-Power" buses -- offer "superior gas mileage, dramatically cleaner tailpipe emissions and a quieter ride for passengers" and "will replace older ultra low-sulfur diesel buses in the Long Beach Transit fleet."

    Similar to hybrid cars, E-Power buses "use a combination of gasoline and electricity to make them the cleanest, most fuel-efficient heavy-duty urban transit buses now available. In testing, they beat liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) -- chosen by many transit agencies several years ago as the successor to diesel -- on fuel efficiency, emissions and projected lifetime vehicle cost," said LB Transit in a written release.

    The new hybrid buses use an electric ultra-capacitor storage unit on the roof - a new technology replacing the conventional battery used in automotive hybrids such as the Toyota Prius. LB Transit said in its release:

    For Long Beach Transit, E-Power buses exceed local, state and federal emissions requirements for the foreseeable future, use up to 50 percent less fuel than diesel buses, get far better gas mileage than any other fuel option, and cost less over their lifetime than alternative-fuel buses. The price tag for each hybrid bus is $550,000, but the E-Power bus will cost less to maintain, operate and fuel than existing buses. And E-Power buses require no expensive infrastructure modifications as CNG and LNG buses do. They also never need to be plugged in, but recharge as they travel their routes.

    All of LB Transit's first order of 27 buses will be carrying passengers this month, with another 20 scheduled to be delivered before the end of summer, the agency says.

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