The Paris transport authority RATP is testing a hybrid electric/diesel bus this month, the latest in a series of sustainable transport experiments. The model is a version of the Irisbus’s Cityclass which has already been tested in Italy and exists in a natural gas version.
The bus, which runs on Nimh batteries and an electric motor, is supposed to reduce fuel consumption by 10 to 25 percent. The motor shuts down automatically when the bus stops. The RATP already has several electric buses in its fleet, as well as others which run on biodiesel. Their goal is to launch a “zero petrol” bus by 2012.