At a time when record fuel prices threaten to siphon money from school budgets, school bus manufacturer IC Corp. has partnered with the Enova Systems, a developer of electric, hybrid, and fuel-cell digital power management systems, to build what the companies are calling the nation's first hybrid diesel-electric school bus.

A prototype of the hybrid vehicle is scheduled to be delivered to a school bus customer this spring, though IC executives have not disclosed the name of the client. Widespread production on the model is expected in 2008. That's too late to help school

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