Kansas Company Develops Hybrid School Buses

Collins Bus Corp. joining with Azure Dynamics to develop hybrid buses with a 40 percent increase in fuel economy and a 30 percent reduction in maintenance costs.

SOUTH HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) -- A Kansas company says it has entered into an agreement with Azure Dynamics to develop small school buses powered by hybrid electric technologies.

South Hutchinson-based Collins Bus Corp. says the hybrid buses can achieve up to a 40 percent increase in fuel economy while reducing maintenance costs by 30 percent.

Collins President Kent Tyler says it will likely be early summer before the plant begins to produce the hybrid buses.

The buses will be able to idle with the engine running on nothing but battery. Tyler says the engine doesn't come on until the bus reaches 20 miles per hour.

Customers will be able to order a hybrid electric option on Type A buses, which can carry 14 to 30 people.

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