Ford Partners on First Hydraulic Hybrid School Bus

By Ford Social Member

It’s almost difficult to make headlines these days with a “first-ever” in the hybrid department, since it’s the buzzword of the moment. But there indeed has been another first-ever: the conversion of a traditional school bus to a hydraulic hybrid that runs on recycled biofuel. Ford has partnered with George Tech on the Green Eco School Bus, the first of its kind in the nation.

The program has been financed by a $50,000 Ford College Community Challenge Grant, one of five given annually for a student-led project that matches university resources with an urgent community need related to sustainability. And you know global sustainability is near and dear to the heart of Ford as part of its “Reduce, reuse and recycle” commitment.

“Together with Georgia Tech and Atlanta Public Schools, we are taking innovation from the classroom to the community,” said Jim Vella, President, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “This is a noteworthy example of the types of programs we are bringing to Atlanta as part of our new Operation Goodwill partnership with local Ford and Lincoln dealers with the goal of expanding our engagement with this community.”

Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community partners to advance driving safety, education and American heritage and community life. It has been in existence for more than 60 years with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company.

The bus project focuses on converting existing school buses to hydraulic hybrids, which could lower greenhouse emissions and reduce transportation costs for schools. Michael Leamy, Georgia Tech Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and his students have designed and developed the hydraulic hybrid system for the 16-passenger school bus, and its installation is nearly complete. Meanwhile, students at Mary Lin Elementary School are painting the Green Eco School Bus green and organizing a drive to collect used cooking oil for processing into biodiesel, a renewable energy source.

“We expect our research will lead to cleaner, more efficient school buses that will help school districts like APS significantly reduce fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions,” Michael added.
Granger Motors 05/19/2011
Cool story!
Brian Langston 05/17/2011
I wonder why they will not come up with a diesel over electric drive train like the ones in a locomotive? Use a small diesel engine running at constant rpm's to run a generator to power up proportional electric drive motors. In construction equipment, generators can crank out thousands of watts of power with minimal fuel consumption. That would be the ultimate hybrid!
Yvonne Simmons-Sims 05/17/2011
You are in all thiings that help better America in achieving the best we can in automotive and scientific technology. Just keep on keeping on!
doggsbody anything moved or deliverd 05/17/2011
theye have run ford transits here in britain on bio fuel before l was born both standard/injection so why has it took so long for them to try it out now ?
Thomas Artman 05/16/2011
This is great. I'm not sure how hydraulic hybrids work, but it's an improvement.
Benjamin Abeyta 05/16/2011
Mmmmmm diesel exhaust..... can't beat the 30 mpg I get out of my diesel suburban with it's 6.2 litre diesel.
Chuck Brannen 05/16/2011
Whatever kind of fuel these buses run around here sux, No wonder the kids get sick, You follow one for a mile and its instsnt headake, Gimmie straight Diesel anytime!!
Steve Ferguson 05/16/2011
Currently IC/Navistar are the kings of the bus world, putting several hybrids on the market well over a year ago.
Jordan Elser 05/16/2011
John A Ack 05/16/2011
Sounds cool
Chuck Brannen 05/16/2011
Didnt even know Ford still made buses, Everything is Freightliner and Blue Bird around here
Stephanie Nichols 05/16/2011
Say WHAT?!?!?
Bart Logan 05/16/2011
I can think of an even better solution...Don't put any school bus stops closer than a mile together and let the little buggers get some much needed exercise. How much fuel will THAT save?
Jason Thornton 05/16/2011
grr is right... Let's go with what works and is cheaper... oil that is...
Robert Dolehite 05/16/2011
Yea... Good luck getting your hand in there to fix the stupid thing, when it is broken....
Robert Dolehite 05/16/2011