World's first hydraulic hybrid transit bus unveiled

Altair ProductDesign’s BUSolutions LCO-140H improves on standard diesel bus fuel economy by 110 percent.

Comments Off on World's first hydraulic hybrid transit bus unveiled September 8, 2011
by Design Engineering Staff

TROY, Mich. — Altair ProductDesign, a product development consultancy and subsidiary of Altair Engineering, Inc., unveiled the world’s first series hydraulic hybrid transit bus. The LCO-140H (Low-Cost of Ownership-1st 40-foot Hybrid) was developed under the BUSolutions program in partnership with Automation Alley, in an effort to revitalize public bus transportation in North America.

When compared to an estimated $27 million increase in operational costs for a similar electric hybrid fleet, it is clear the LCO-140H could revolutionize the transit industry by providing reduced fuel consumption and emissions while improving the fiscal performance of a regional transit authority.

According to the company, BUSolutions is projected to lower the cost of ownership by $170,000 per bus as compared to a conventional diesel 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. A good deal of that cost savings comes from the LCO-140H’s high fuel efficiency. Compared to conventional diesel buses, the LCO-140H fuel economy results are 110 percent higher and 30 percent better than diesel-electric hybrid buses. In FTA transit bus certification testing, the hydraulic bus achieved fuel economy of 6.9 mpg when tested using the downtown “stop-and-go” duty cycles.

In addition to investments by Altair and Automation Alley, the BUSolutions project was funded by multiple U.S. federal and state programs including the FTA and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) as well as local transit authorities SMART and the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT).