Altair unveils world's first hydraulic-hybrid transit bus

Altair ProductDesign, a global product development consultancy and wholly-owned subsidiary of Altair Engineering, Inc. in Troy, Michigan, today unveiled the world’s first series hydraulic hybrid transit bus, the LCO-140H.

The LCO-140H which stands for “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 America.

On the MPG criteria, the LCO-140 achieved an industry high fuel economy of 6.9 mpg when tested using the downtown “stop-and-go” duty cycles and test protocol established by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for transit bus certification testing.

Now before you think that MPG is low, consider that compared to the database of buses tested at Altoona, where the FTA certification program is conducted, the LCO-140H fuel economy results are rather impressive at 110 percent better than conventional diesel buses and 30 percent better than the leading diesel-electric hybrid buses available today.

From an economic perspective, it’s the total cost that has to be considered. On that front, 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.

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.

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