A $730,000 grant was awarded to Western Washington University (WWU) from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to design a fuel efficient hybrid bus that will incorporate lightweight materials and aerodynamic features to improve fuel economy over current buses in production.
Current transit group partners include Kitsap Transit, Whatcom Transit Authority and Everett Transit, among others in the NW WA State region, who have assisted with funding, and development of design requirements.
The WWU Hybrid Bus Team intends to produce a composite material monocoque bus chassis for the US DOT, and is seeking additional funding to complete a proof-of-concept vehicle for demonstration to our transit operator and community partners, and other interested customers, to enable commercialization analysis by potential bus manufacturers.
The project is currently tracking a three-year design schedule, and is targeting vehicle demonstration in the fall of 2013. Market analysis indicates a potential national demand for such a hybrid bus of up to 3,000 vehicles annually. Western’s Vehicle Research Institute continues to lead the research and development efforts in collaboration with project partners.
“The WWU Hybrid Bus Project is a research and design effort that seeks to create a paradigm-changing shuttle bus design intended for a variety of transportation applications.”
Steven Fleishman, hybrid bus project manager and assistant professor of Engineering Technology at Western.