Hybrid trial continues

Adelaide’s hybrid bus trial is continuing and results are looking positive

Hybrid trial continues
Volvo B5RLE

Hybrid buses are currently being trialled on the joint Adelaide Metro/Adelaide City Council Free City Connector service that operates within the CBD.

South Australia Department for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure Fleet and Depot Manager Alan Castree says the trial will evaluate two hybrid buses against the existing diesel buses.

The Volvo B5RHLE hybrid bus is being trialled alongside another manufacturer’s hybrid bus.

"We’re trying to compare the performance of the two hybrids against the existing buses to see what benefits they provide. The benefit could be fuel, it could be cost, it could be noise," he says.

The Volvo B5RLE bus uses a parallel hybrid power system that combines a Volvo diesel engine with an electric motor.

The bus can run as diesel only, as electric only, or as diesel supplemented by electric, for example, when extra power is needed to accelerate.

The bus is also being trialled in Perth on the city’s free inner-city service.

While he hasn’t seen any official results from the Perth trial, Castree says informal feedback has been positive.

"From the research and studies we’ve done, I’m pretty sure the success of hybrids is dependent on the type of service they do. That’s why we bought these two – to evaluate them on our specific service," he says.

"If they’re successful I’d suggest we’ll recommend them for all buses on that service, which is about six buses."

The trial started in January and will run for approximately 12 months.

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