Colorado City Purchasing Two Lightning Hydraulic Hybrids
Colorado’s Lightning Hybrids says it will retrofit two shuttle buses with its fuel-efficient hydraulic hybrid system for its home City of Loveland. The vehicles, both 2012 Ford E-450 passenger shuttle buses will be converted next month and January. “The City expects to save $15,000 to $25,000 per vehicle in fuel and brake costs over the next five years, completely covering the incremental cost of the system,” Lightning says.
The buses, “the first hydraulic hybrid shuttle buses in fleets,” get up to 40% better fuel economy than non-hybrids, Lightning says, due to regenerative braking. Greenhouse gas emissions are halved.
The buses will be put into public transit service and will be outfitted with displays to allow passengers to see how the hydraulic hybrid is working to save fuel.
“I research a lot of new vehicle technologies and ideas and I am a skeptic,” Loveland public works fleet manager Steve Kibler says in the Lightning Hybrid announcement. “However, I believe in technology that captures inertia and turns into reusable energy. Hydraulic hybrids are sustainable.”
Lightning recently received “a major investment from 9th Street Investors, a CoorsTek affiliate,” said co-founder and president Tim Reeser – $750,000 from 9th Street out of a total round of $4 million, Lightning said last month.
60 Days Delivery
Reeser noted too last week that his firm has added 30,000 square feet of manufacturing space in downtown Loveland.
“We’ve tested the system on-road as well as in the lab, and now we’re looking forward to working closely with the City to gather data on how the system is working in real world use,” Reeser said.
Lightning says it’s been working on the hydraulic hybrid system since September 2008. “Other local entities, including Colorado State University and the City of Greeley are in final negotiations to install systems in their fleets in the next few months,” the company says. The Lightning hydraulic hybrid upfit is available for both new and used vehicles. Orders are being taken with delivery promised 60 days from order receipt.
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Source: Lightning Hybrids LLC with Fleets & Fuels follow-up