Reading Buses has announced it is to upgrade the hybrid systems in two double deck buses. One vehicle will use Vantage Power’s series-hybrid system, bringing stop-start and selective zero emission running capability. The second vehicle will be converted to Magtec’s plug-in-electric drivetrain with a sub-1000cc on-board Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) engine to extend the range of the bus.
Chief Engineer, John Bickerton, explained the company’s philosophy: ‘Even the most modern engines are not good enough, environmentally or commercially, for Reading Buses. We were an early adaptor of hybrid technology and are now at a stage where the whole life cost and performance of vehicles needs to be reviewed. We are really excited to trial these repower systems as the cost profile of our hybrids gives an opportunity to try something really innovative at this point in their lives. The work will be supported by £356,000 funding from the Department for Transport under the Clean Vehicle Technology Fund.’