January 18, 2011
Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT) is introducing the first hybrid buses in the CAT fleet on Tuesday. Powered by a combination of electric and diesel technology, the new hybrid buses are part of CAT's plan to help green Charlottesville's future.
CAT is preparing to replace its existing fleet of 35 clean diesel buses with hybrids over the next ten years.
"Hybrids reduce fossil fuel use and offer an attractive alternative to the single-passenger automobile," said Bill Watterson, Manager for CAT. "These vehicles build on the City's vision to have a green and connected community. While transit service by definition benefits the environment, hybrid vehicles are the most green way in which that service can be delivered."
CAT anticipates using 25% to 30% less diesel fuel with hybrid vehicles. The first two hybrids alone are expected to consume 7,000 less gallons of fuel annually than their diesel counterparts, with a corresponding cost savings of about $21,000 a year.
CAT's next hybrid vehicles are already in the works. CAT plans to replace seven additional diesel vehicles in its fleet with hybrid buses within the next two years.