Say hello to the world’s first commercially produced CNG Hybrid Bus – the Tata Starbus Hybrid – that is currently on display at the Auto expo 2016 happening at Greater Noida. Tata Motors claims that this CNG-Electric series hybrid bus is 30% lower in emissions and features zero-emission running mode as well. Equipped with the latest Lithium Ion Phosphate Batteries (Prismatic Cell), the Starbus Hybrid also boasts electronically-controlled air suspension and fully electronic braking system with regeneration and ABS.
This is not the first time Tata Motors have come up with the hybrid urban bus. Back in 2010, the first ‘green bus’ from the company Tata Starbus 32-Seater CNG-Electric Hybrid Low Floor was unveiled, which claimed 25% fuel efficiency. The bus used the common UBS (Urban Bus Specifications) platform, and was basically a parallel hybrid system.
And now, the next-generation is an all-new one based on modular chassis – a full low floor contemporary styled bus body design meeting UBS -II norms for premium category of buses. The bus’s exterior looks stunning and way taller than the usual low-floor buses, in line with the European premium urban buses like the Mercedes-Benz Citaro Euro 6. For instance, the attention grabbing goodies such as the projector-type headlamp clusters with LED-DRLs, LED taillamps, taller windscreen and roof area, exterior premium paint-job, multi-functional driver information system, premium seats and ergonomics, cabin illumination using LEDs, passenger information displayand cozy doors on both sides are fantastic.
Featuring a series hybrid setup, the primary power source is the Cummins ISB5.9G CNG engine (BS 4 compliant) generating 195 hp @ 2800 rpm that has no mechanical connection with the drive axle. Instead, an electric traction system of two induction motors with summation gearbox does the job, producing 134 kW of power at continuous speed and up to 240 kW at peak demand. They are backed by Twin Lithium-Ion Nano Phosphate battery packs. Braking energy regeneration does exist as well.
Tata claims that the hybrid bus has a driving range of 300 kms, in which about 35-40% can be zero-emission operation. The maximum speed of the bus is limited to 80 kmph, while the acceleration and gradability exceeds the UBS – II norms. The bus can seat 20 passengers excluding the driver.
At the auto expo, Ashok Leyland also presented their series-hybrid Hybus urban bus, while Scania promoted their initiatives in Bio-fuels.