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C40-CCI Hybrid & Electric Bus Test Program: Interim Results

In the coming weeks, we look forward to sharing news about how cities are setting the course for long-term sustainable growth. But first, we want to catch readers up on the conversations we have been having over the past year, featuring the progress being made around the world. The following post originally ran on the C40 Cities Live Blog on April 24, 2012.

C40 has published a summary of interim results of its Hybrid & Electric Bus Test Program, developed in partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative, and supported by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).

Promising findings show significant progress towards the Program’s ultimate goal: catalyzing the deployment of up to 9,000 buses across Latin American cities over the next five years, with steady-state reduction of annual CO2 emissions by 475,000 tons.

Launched in June 2011, the Program aims to reduce the carbon footprint of public transportation in Latin America, and develop a market for fuel efficient, low-carbon buses in the region. It tests bus technology performance in city-specific driving conditions and duty cycles; and, through the publication of results, establishes the case for investment in hybrid and electric buses. An initial group of four cities are participating: Bogota, Curitiba, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

This innovative Program brings together cities, bus technology companies, and local transport operators to produce accurate and comprehensive data, which all parties can use to make investment decisions. Bus testing has so far been conducted in two of the four participating cities – and the results demonstrate that hybrid bus technology has an important role to play in reducing urban greenhouse gas emissions.”

– Manuel Olivera, Director, Latin America Hybrid & Electric Bus Test Program

The Program’s interim results demonstrate that hybrid technology is more fuel efficient, and produces fewer local air pollutants and greenhouse gases, than conventional diesel buses. To date, two test campaigns have been completed in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo; these focused on comparing hybrid diesel-electric technology to conventional diesel technology. Results measured a range of factors from exhaust emissions to energy performance, following a rigorous test protocol based on simulating real-world driving conditions: representative urban routes, road congestion levels, different driving cycles and road types where buses actually can operate in each of the participating cities.

Looking ahead, new campaigns will run again in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo as well as in Curitiba and Bogota in the second and third quarter of 2012. A final report is due to be released by October 2012.

For more information read the full Summary of Interim Results as well as recent coverage in United Cities magazine (p 25). Earlier coverage on the Program by Autobus, the leading industry publication on bus transport in Brazil, can be found here.