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PHOTO CAPTION: Lead-acid batteries in Orion hybrid-electric transit bus has proven far from reliable, TTC claims.

Toronto Finds Hybrid Buses Unreliable, Switches Back to Diesel

The hybrids on order for 2009 will still be delivered, and will be fitted with lithium-ion batteries instead of the lead-acid ones that have been lasting only 18 months instead of the four years expected.

Published: 23-Oct-2008

The TTC is going back to diesel buses because the current hybrids in its fleet are unreliable.

Transit commission management will be asking their political bosses tomorrow to let them buy 120 "clean diesel" buses in 2010, instead of Daimler-based Orion hybrid vehicles that have been less fuel efficient than expected, have battery glitches, and are far more expensive.

The diesel-burning buses are $200,000 cheaper than the $700,000 hybrid vehicles, which are partially manufactured in Mississauga. The 2010 diesel order would save the TTC $24 million.

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The phosphate-based Epoch batteries are equipped with an advanced management system that will monitor and adjust cell performance.

The battery system was developed by CSIRO in Australia, built by the Furukawa Battery Company of Japan and tested in the United Kingdom through the American-based Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium.

The new batteries will make the GM Hybrid System nearly three times more powerful than the system it replaces. Pictured is 2009 Saturn Vue Green Line with Two-mode hybrid drive.

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