partners on nation’s first hybrid school bus conversion
The Ford Motor Company Fund and the Georgia
Institute of Technology are partnering on the nation’s first
conversion of a traditional school bus to a hydraulic hybrid
vehicle that runs on recycled biofuel. Atlanta Public Schools
(APS) donated the bus for the project.
Conducted by Georgia Tech, the project is 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
community need related to sustainability.
This project focuses on converting existing school buses into
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 the hydraulic hybrid
system for the 16-passenger school bus.
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
This project includes a cost-benefit analysis of a large-scale
conversion of a school bus fleet to hydraulic hybrid powertrains
designed to recover lost braking energy. Leamy said, “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.”
Atlanta Public School officials are using the project to educate
the next generation about green energy.