Jul 14, 2006 (From the CalCars-News archive)
Two different stories on three different PHEV projects in Long Island, which has gone plug-in crazy for heavy-duty vehicles. A plug-in bus from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is ready to roll into service in the next couple of months, and the town of Oyster Bay was recently awarded $270,000 to convert three dump trucks to plug-ins.
Not many specifics on the truck conversions as they've just been funded. They'll be used -- of course -- for curbside recycling. They'll run in full-electric mode for residential pickups and only turn on their diesel engines for travel to and from the recycling facility. These (also postal service vehicles) represent practically the ideal commercial implementation of PHEVs: in addition to the standard major benefits of a plug (cleaner/cheaper/domestic) there's significant impact from the side benefit of "stealth mode."
The bus conversion was sponsored by the Long Island Power Authority in conjunction with EPRI (partners also in the Daimler-Chrysler Sprinter project - see http://www.calcars.org/calcars-news/340.html). They've replaced the standard engine with a four-cylinder Volkswagen diesel, which will serve exclusively to recharge and top-off the batteries. Batteries (assumed to be lithium) weigh a whopping 5200 pounds but give the bus a 40-mile all-electric range. It charges from a 240V outlet, so if you can part with your clothes-dryer and $2M, you can have one of these babies yourself.
Article also lists a number of other PHEV projects that are in the works in other LI cities.