Turbine Powered Hybrid Electric Buses on New York Streets

DesignLine Bus

In brief: The experimental DesignLine turbine-electric hybrid has hit the streets of New York, but quietly.

Vehicle in the news

Make/Model: MTA Bus
Manufacturer: DesignLine

The word

DesignLine

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority took delivery of three of the DesignLine buses several days ago and has been (quietly) testing them on routes in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

With a price tag of $559,000 per bus, some question the expense, but the city is willing to buy 87 more of them if the pilot project goes well.

The $60 million contract went to DesignLine, a New Zealand-based manufacturer who's building the bus chassis in North Carolina for this and future North American sales.

The buses use a turbine engine, burning diesel, to recharge batteries. Turbines are much quieter, smaller, and often more efficient than their heavy-block diesel counterparts. In the case of the buses, they're "quiet as a tomb," as Doreen M. Frasca of the MTA told the New York Times.

And so ...

Larger vehicles, especially public transit, are often the best spearpoint for changes and adoption of vehicular technology.

Photo credits: NYT

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