The Allison Transmission Division of General Motors will demonstrate its energy-efficient hybrid buses at Mt Cotton near Brisbane on 31 March to Australian government and transport industry representatives.

The technologically advanced buses use GM's hybrid propulsion system to save 20 to 55% on fuel, depending on the bus route and driving conditions. This represents a significant fuel economy improvement over conventional diesel buses.

GM has so far delivered more than 400 hybrid buses to public urban mass transit systems in 25 US cities. Now entering its seventh year, the program is being rolled out across Europe and Asia, and has attracted global interest from state and federal governments.

In addition to fuel cost savings, the hybrid buses provide dramatically cleaner exhaust, including 90% fewer particulate, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions.
The buses also offer superior torque and better acceleration than conventional diesel buses.

Other benefits include reduced maintenance costs resulting from extended brake, engine oil and transmission oil life, and operational sound levels approaching that of passenger cars.

The hybrid technology is manufactured by Allison Transmission, maker of transmissions and hybrid propulsion systems for commercial trucks, buses, off-highway equipment and military vehicles.

The technology in these buses has served as the starting point for GM's co-development with DaimlerChrysler of a two-mode hybrid drive system that GM will launch in its vehicles in late 2007.