Hybrid Buses Enhance National Park

Tourists visiting Yosemite National Park will get a hybrid experience starting in 2005 when the park will start using General Motors’ (GM) diesel-electric buses. The General Services Administration (GSA) has awarded a contract for 18 of the vehicle manufacturer’s 40-foot hybrids.

Yosemite National Park, California – August 23, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] “Several types of alternative fuel buses were seriously considered,” said Yosemite National Park Superintendent Mike Tollefson. “The decision to pursue diesel-electric hybrids was based on a significant improvement in fuel economy, dramatically reduced emissions, and noticeably quieter operations. This is part of a major initiative to enhance transportation service to park visitors while protecting the natural beauty of the park.” GM hybrid buses are currently in service in Philadelphia and Seattle as well. Seattle will have more than 230 hybrid buses in service by the end of 2004, representing the largest hybrid bus order in the company’s history. Hybrid buses from GM are in preview programs in over a dozen major North American cities, including Minneapolis, Portland and Houston. “General Motors’ hybrid strategy focuses on applying fuel-saving hybrid technology where it makes the most sense, on vehicles like transit buses, full-size pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles,” said Tom Stephens, group vice president of GM Powertrain. “For example, replacing the 13,000 buses operating in the nine largest transit markets in the United States with our hybrid technology would result in annual savings of almost 40 million gallons of fuel, equivalent to nearly half a million small hybrid passenger vehicles.”

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