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Ljubljana Could Get First Hybrid Bus in 2011

Ljubljana, 28 December (STA) - The first hybrid bus could hit the streets of the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana in 2011, according to the Ljubljana public transportation company LPP. The main features of hybrid buses are lower consumption, level of noise and CO2 emissions.

One of the buses, produced by Germany's MAN, which could potentially be used for public transportation in Ljubljana, is currently making test drives in the city.

According to Marko Kamnik of LPP, during the test drives until 10 January the company will measure fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and noise levels as well as carry out a survey among commuters.

"If the consumption is about 30% lower, as promised by the producer, such an investment could pay back in ten years," he said.

"In case of good results there are realistic chances that next year LPP carries out public tenders for hybrid buses," Kamnik announced, adding that business plans envisaged first hybrids in 2011.

The average age of LPP buses is 12 years, which means that the company would have to buy between 25 and 30 buses a year to keep the average. The average age is considerably above the average ages of buses in other European countries, Kamnik explained.

The envisaged purchase of hybrid buses is a part of the CIVITAS-ELAN project, an initiative from the cities of Ljubljana, Gent, Zagreb, Brno and Porto.

The project, co-funded by the European Commission, aims at developing a more sustainable, environmental-friendly and energy-efficient public transportation system.

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