Hybrid vehicles are not widely available in Argentina yet, but the country's capital will have its first hybrid electric bus with national technology and auto-parts this December.
The project is an initiative of the Buenos Aires Environmental Agency along with the La Plata University and a transport company called TAT. According to Minutouno newspaper, the first unit will have a cost of 800 thousand pesos (266 thousand US dollars) and will function with one of the lines that operate now in the city in a route that will allow developers to test its functioning. Read more in the extended.
Via Minutouno.Project details
The idea is that the bus uses the electric engine in the city's downtown, usually packed at rush hour because of its narrow streets, and helps reduce noise and contamination in the area. Meanwhile, in other areas where the buses can speed up, it would turn to the diesel engine.
"This is a very important technological change that's already in use in the world. Once the prototype is running we'll analyze how we can instrument its serial production to reduce costs and encourage bus companies to choose these models. The State might be able to give a subsidy if they show they are environmentally sustainable," said Graciela Gerola, president of the Buenos Aires Environmental Agency to La Nacion newspaper.
According to estimations published by Minutouno newspaper, the promoters of this initiative are expecting to run twice the distance with the same amount of fuel, and reduce carbon emissions in 55% and other greenhouse gases in 40%.
According to Critica newspaper, the need to reduce noise and air contamination in the city is urgent. The paper publishes a statistic by the World Bank that says the metropolitan region has to take care of the mobility of 13 million people who demand 18 million daily trips, 7.5 million of them by bus and another 7 million by taxi or private car.
Background and hybrid buses in the world
In Argentina, there have been other initiatives of eco buses with engines running on hybrid hydrogen (gas and water) in the city of Rosario, located in Santa Fe province (the country's third city in population size).
In the United States, buses with hybrid electric technology have been functioning for a while in cities like New York and Seattle, and are coming to Washington, Philadelphia and Minneapolis. In Europe, they are present in the UK and Germany, among others.
Sources (all in Spanish):
An eco bus arrives in the streets of Buenos Aires (Minutouno).
Buenos Aires designs hybrid bus with national technology (CanalAR).
Buenos Aires will have an eco-bus (La Nacion).
An eco-bus arrives to Baires.