A hybrid bus fuelled by diesel and electricity will be tested on the streets of Perth over the next year, with a view to possibly replacing the city's entire CAT bus fleet.
Despite costing about 20 per cent more than a standard diesel bus, it is hoped the $600,000 hybrid bus will have lower running costs and emissions.
Transport Minister Troy Buswell said that from March the hybrid bus would operate on CAT routes around the city, alongside the diesel buses and the Mercedes- Benz compressed natural gas buses.
"At the end of the trial, the three models will be independently assessed and a decision made on which type of bus will be selected to replace the current CAT fleet," he said.
Mr Buswell saw the hybrid buses on a visit to the Volvo factory in Sweden and was keen to see if they could operate efficiently on Perth roads. He said there were about 1000 hybrid buses operating in cities around the world.
Volvo commercial development manager Asia-Pacific region Robyn Thompson said the hybrid technology had been found to save a significant amount in fuel consumption and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.She said the Perth bus would be the only hybrid bus in operation in the Asia-Pacific region.
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