At a time when record fuel prices threaten to siphon money from school budgets, school bus manufacturer IC Corp. has partnered with 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 was scheduled to be delivered to a school bus customer this spring, though IC executives had not disclosed the name of the client as of press time. Widespread production on the model is expected in 2008. That's too late to

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