You keep hearing of more “progressive” cities getting hybrid transit buses. Maybe Fredericton should get some too? Let’s first run some numbers:

Cost of a bus: $400,000 for a regular one, $600,000 for a hybrid.

As with hybrid cars, you need to change the batteries every 6 years. As Fredericton keeps its buses until they are about 24 years old, that means 3 battery replacements (at 6, 12 and 18 years) 3x$66,000 = 200,000

That essentially makes it double the cost over the 24 year lifespan of the bus.  Now, don’t forget that there would be some fuel savings. Unfortunately, under real-world testing, a hybrid bus only got 15% more mileage. (3.86 vs 4.58 mpg).

With a limited budget, that means Fredericton Transit would be able to buy fewer buses if they switched to Hybrids. To compensate, they would need to keep older buses for longer, which won’t be as fuel efficient as a newer conventional bus. They also wouldn”t be able to expand service, which would mean more cars on the road.

The truth of the matter is that hybrid transit buses are just for greenwashing and serve no actual purpose other than scoring political points.