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Electric buses are a good idea, especially in a mostly flat city. The trouble comes with range.
Trams (trolley buses) powered from overhead cables are also a good idea, but they have the problem of all that expensive overhead wiring.
So why not combine the two concepts?
On main roads,
where access is easy and there's already plenty of infrastructure, the bus uses overhead cables to supply its power. When the bus needs to trundle through the suburbs or congested inner city, the overhead is disconnected and the bus uses on-board batteries (kept charged by the overhead wires). This keeps the best of both worlds - main supply electricity (efficient, eco-friendly), less overhead wiring to build/maintain, and freedom to trip around the small windy suburbs.
Disclaimer: there are plenty of electric trolley buses that can run 'unplugged', but none that seem to be specifically designed to do major parts of their route off grid.
ShadowBuilt OTL E-bus - quietly moving you.
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||Baked the other way 'round - some electric rail vehicles have batteries for shunting or other operations on short non-electrified sections of track.
||With existing technology, it might be better to use a diesel engine rather than batteries to provide off-line power over anything but very short distances. Batteries are expensive, heavy, and not necessarily as 'green' as you might think. They could provide a public amenity service, however, in making cities quieter and cleaner.
||Flywheel drives could be spun up at each bus stop?
||That's actually not a bad idea. I know that there are (were?) flywheel-powered busses somewhere. A CVT (or IVT) to connect the motor under the bus-stop to the flywheel, and a dog-clutch, should do it. (I think going in via the bus wheels on rollers would be messy...)
||If overhead wires were painted a differentiating colour, battery carrying trolley buses could use optical mechatronics to dis-engage or re-engage at will.