Twelve hybrid minibuses powered principally by rechargable electric batteries will undergo trials on Hong-Kong city streets in October, with a view to the hybrid model replacing the existing fleet.

Green Mobility Innovations (GMI) who build the vehicles say the minibusses consume a third less oil and produce 70 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions than the LPG-powered and diesel minibuses currently in use.

“The battery will recharge when it runs low or when the vehicle is stopped… …a fully charged battery would last 450 kilometres at 80km/h, after which the diesel engine would kick in. That would make the hybrid no different in operation from a conventional minibus, which clocked about 300 kilometres a day” said Lo Chee-pui, director of Green Mobility Innovations (GMI).

Three big operators of green-topped minibuses are taking part in the trial, which will start in the middle of October 2013.

Chan Man-chun, of AMS Public Transport, which bought eight of the hybrids, said the government’s green transport fund paid HK$900,000 for each of the HK$1.33 million hybrids. A diesel version costs about HK$600,000.

Origional story here, from the South China Morning Post: Green hybrid minibuses go on trial this month

Green Mobility Innovations (GMI) website: green-mobility-innovations.com

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