Eco-bus trial begins

Ireland's first ever hybrid-electric bus is to begin its rounds next week and is expected to make a positive contribution on the environment.

Dublin Bus has launched the vehicle, which is expected to cut fuel consumption and carbon emissions by a third.

The vehicle is able to do this through the use of a 2.4-litre diesel engine, which is supplemented by a hybrid-electric drive system.

This engine is less than a third of the size of an average bus engine, and will be used on the double-deckers completing the number 16 route, between Dublin Airport and Rathfarnham.

Dublin Bus will test the benefits of the engine in a three-year trial period to check its reliability and maintenance requirements, to see if it is affordable to roll the engine out across more buses throughout Ireland.

As well as helping the environment, it will also benefit residents, as it is 50% less noisy than traditional bus engines.

Energy Minister Eamon Ryan and Transport Minister Noel Dempsey recently announced plans to ensure that, by 2020, 10% of Ireland’s vehicles were powered by electricity.

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