At the 2016 Delhi Auto Expo last February, Scania CV India displayed its flagship city or sub-urban bus ‘Citywide‘ for the first time in India. This low-entry bus range has been quite successful in global markets since its inception in 2011, thanks to the brand’s reliable construction, engineering, and fuel-efficient technologies. The company is expanding its local assembly in India, and will consecutively include the Citywide range as well in the days to come. The Citywide’s high point is its hybridized engine that can also run on renewable fuels like bio-ethanol, bio-diesel and bio-methane along with the conventional diesel, a first-of-its kind in India. Moreover, the Citywide will compete the popular and only-premium urban bus in the Indian market – Volvo 8400 Low-Floor.
Scania is a global leader in hybrid and alternative fuel technologies for commercial vehicles, case in point is their flexible powertrain solutions that run on all commercially available biofuels, along with traditional and hybrid engine options, at least in their bus ranges offered in Western markets. In India too, the company’s entire line-up of diesel engine can run on ethanol (ED95 fuel configuration) and bio-diesels, including the 13-litre 6-cylinder engine that powers the flagship Metrolink intercity buses. Although biofuels are not completely carbon neutral, they are the most reliable and efficient energy sources for maximal CO2 reduction in commercial transportation segment right now. Considering the nascent stage of development of pure-electric commercial vehicles, along with their added costs, use of bio-fuels and diesel-hybrids are economically viable for commercial mass transportation.
Notably, Scania India’s much-acclaimed ‘Green Bus Project‘ is actually using the prototypes from the Citywide range, conducting trial-run of ethanol-powered buses since 2014 in the city of Nagpur. The engine in question is the Citywide’s 9.3-litre in-line 5-cylinder motor that is capable on running on a variety of fuels including regular Diesel, Bio-diesel, Bio-ethanol, Bio-gas (Bio-methane), and CNG (Compressed Natural Gas). Depending on the engine calibration as per fuel availability in particular markets, this engine delivers a maximum power output ranging from 250-360 hp. The company adds that the engine is capable of meeting Euro 4, Euro 5, and Euro 6 emission norms as well. For the Indian market, the engine on offer is likely to be BS 4 (Euro 4) compliant, paired to a 6-speed ZF automatic gearbox. At this moment, Scania does not offer its advanced Opticruise gearbox technology (which is available in Scania P 410 (8×4) Premium Tippers) in the Citywide bus range.
The Indian-spec bus that was displayed at the auto expo was the longitudinally-engined Citywide LE (Low-Entry) variant featuring a raised floor section at the rear-half to accommodate powertrain and other technical equipments. This floor configuration is best suited for Indian road conditions and intracity-cum-suburb operations, unlike the transverse-engined low-floor Citywide LF variant popular in Europe. The bus is based on the Scania’s K-Series chassis, and measures 12 metres long, 2.55 metres wide, and 3.31 metres high. With a door configuration of 2-2-0 (2 doors -front and mid), the Citywide has 40 passenger seats along with wheel chair position for a differently-abled passenger.
Exterior design wise, the Scania Citywide is elegant looking with angularly chiseled design lines up front and rear, including the sharp-cut headlamps with LED and projector-type lens, coupled with large windshield pane. Wide opening doors and cabin layout seems to promote rapid flow of commuters, while the large window panes provide excellent visibility for the passengers. The seats and the plastics used in the cabin are of better quality from what we have seen earlier. At the driver’s cockpit, the adjustable seat is equipped and comfortable, therefore driving position can be worked out to the best. The chunky steering wheel is great to hold, while the instrument cluster that includes driver information screen is clear to read.
The Citywide is well-equipped as well. The ‘key-features’ list includes reversing camera, daytime running LEDs, an integrated retarder, cabin CCTV cameras, automatic climate control, tiltable steering wheel, and a public information system. Vehicular safety wise, the bus range is offered with Electronic Braking system with ABS and disc brakes on all wheels, fog lights, a fire extinguisher, and seat belts. Scania is also offering its updated Fleet Management system.
The all-new Scania Citywide will compete against the likes of the popular and only-premium urban bus in the Indian market – Volvo 8400 Low-Floor, along with Tata Starbus LF and Ashok Leyland LF models. In Europe, Mercedes-Benz Citaro range of city buses also compete with the Scania Citywide. Since most of the metropolitan transport operators are state-owned, Scania is enticing the transport corporations of various states to bag bulk orders for the new urban bus. While considering the nascent infrastructure for bio-fuels in India, the company has also invested more on promoting alternative fuels among the government-owned operators.
Further, Volvo Buses India has pledged to introduce low-floor diesel-hybrid buses in the local market in sometime. This move may spice-up Scania’s plan as well in future, as the company is already selling bio-diesel-electric hybrids in the European markets, and therefore may extend them to India as well. All in all, the urban public transportation is gaining huge momentum in the recent times with clear shift towards efficient technologies and cleaner energy sources.
Also Read: Scania Metrolink vs Volvo 9400 Intercity Coach: The Swedish Clash
Scania Citywide 12m – Image Gallery
Next IMAGE GALLERY: Scania Metrolink HD 14.5m Multiaxle Coach