Denali National Park Deploys Two Passenger Shuttles
Lightning Hybrids said late yesterday that two shuttle buses modified with its fuel-saving hydraulic hybrid driveline have been deployed at the Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska. Denali, formerly known as Mount McKinley, is the highest mountain in North America.
The two shuttle buses, on GM Chevrolet and Freightliner chassis, will transport park visitors along the 14-mile paved section of the 92-mile long Denali Park Road, Lightning says. It is the only road in the 6-million-acre park. The route runs parallel to the Alaska Range and travels through low valleys and high mountain passes.
“Visitors to the park will appreciate riding in our new environmentally friendly buses,” Denali National Park commercial services specialist Andrew Gertge says in Lightning’s announcement.
‘We’ll Have Cleaner Air’
“They’ll enjoy a nice smooth ride,” Gertge said, “and we’ll have cleaner air for our visitors who are hoping to spot bears or caribou.”
“Our hydraulic hybrid systems work well in harsh environments, and will help the park service to reduce emissions and save fuel,” said Lightning sales VP Dave Brosky.
The buses were sold by Colonial Equipment on the federal GSA schedule.
A Hybrid with No Batteries
The Lightning drive is a patented, parallel hydraulic hybrid system that has no electric batteries. “Instead,” the company explains, “it applies a hydraulic system to the driveline of a vehicle to regenerate braking energy.
“Hydraulic pumps and a lightweight accumulator brake the vehicle, store the braking energy, and then use that stored energy to provide power to the wheels. In doing so fuel is saved and harmful emissions are cut.”
Lightning Hybrids is based in Loveland, Colo.
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