Charlotte/Douglas International Airport is buying five DesignLine hybrid buses, according to a report on the Charlotte Business Journal. The airport already has two such hybrids in its fleet, which it bought three years ago. The new buses will replace older, diesel powered vehicles.
Funds for the purchase came out of $12 million the U.S. Department of Energy had set aside for the Carolina Blue Skies and Green Jobs Initiative, part of the nearly $300 million grant the federal government provided as part of the Clean Cities initiative rolled out last year. The initiative is designed to fund a range of energy efficient and advanced vehicle technologies, such as hybrids, electric vehicles, plug-in electric hybrids, hydraulic hybrids and compressed natural gas vehicles, helping reduce petroleum consumption across the U.S. In addition, funding will support refueling infrastructure for various alternative fuel vehicles, including biofuels and natural gas.
The Carolina Blue Skies program is estimated to displace 724,000 gallons of petroleum annually.
The DesignLine hybrids have already been rolled out in pilot programs in New York City and Baltimore, where they are estimated to be able to reduce fuel consumption by 40 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 70 percent. They are also up to 35 percent quieter than typical city buses.
Several airports are implementing environmental and sustainability initiatives, Environmental Leader has reported.