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Secretary Chu Announces up to $10 Million to Support Plug-In Hybrid Electric School Buses

Posted Apr 16 2009 9:00pm

WASHINGTON, DC ­- As part of the Department of Energy's commitment to advancing the next generation of electric vehicles in the United States, Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced the selection of a new demonstration and testing project to develop a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) school bus to be used in fleets across the country.

Navistar Corporation (Fort Wayne, IN) has been selected by the Department of Energy (DOE) for negotiation of a cost-shared award of up to $10 million to develop, test, and deploy an electric hybrid school bus.  PHEVs will play an important role in achieving America's energy independence by reducing petroleum use and greenhouse gas emissions.  Today's announcement will also help meet President Obama's goal of putting one million plug-in hybrid vehicles on the road by 2015.

"These projects will help move technologies from the laboratory to the marketplace by improving their durability, reducing their costs, and validating their performance in real-world settings," said Secretary Chu.  "By investing in the vehicles of the future, we will create new jobs while reducing our dependence on foreign oil and improving our environment."

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles can be driven in electric-only or hybrid modes and recharged from a standard electrical outlet.  They offer increased energy efficiency and decreased petroleum consumption by using electricity as the primary fuel for urban driving.

DOE will provide up to $10 million over three years (50 percent of the project's projected total cost), subject to annual appropriations.  Development will include examining hybrid architectures to achieve a 40-mile electric range, evaluating advanced energy storage devices, and operating on an emissions compliant diesel engine capable of running on renewable fuels.  The project plans to deploy 60 vehicles for a three-year period in fleets across the nation.

For information on the Department of Energy's work to advance vehicle technologies, visit the Vehicle Technologies Program website .

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