For a city that has for so long been at the forefront of adopting clean fuels for its public transportation, the Delhi Transport Corporation has now taken its ‘going green’ tag to an entirely different level with the recent introduction of four new CNG-Electric Hybrid Bus, courtesy Tata Motors.
This is the first time in Indian automobile history that hybrid buses will be used for public transportation. Coming into force at a time when the city’s cry for logistic assistance is the loudest, the four Hybrid buses of Tata Motors will run in the city during the Commonwealth Games period. Tata Motors will also maintain the buses,as it does for the fleet of Tata low-floor CNG buses running in the city.
Gracing such a strategic move by Tata Motors at the advent of an even greater sporting event, Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit, flagged off the hybrid buses in the presence of ministers, top Government of Delhi officers, senior DTC management, Tata Motors’ Managing Director – India Operations, P M Telang, and the President -Commercial Vehicles, R Pisharody.
On behalf of the very first Indian OEM to ever manufacture a public transportation vehicle of this nature, Mr. Telang said, “The CNG- Electric Hybrid Tata Starbus is a result of Tata Motors’ advances in alternate fuel technologies, including electric vehicles. We are grateful to the Government of Delhi and the DTC for giving us this opportunity of showcasing hybrid buses in the city of Delhi during the Commonwealth Games. We will eagerly look forward to the feedback of the DTC and passengers.”
The Hybrid Tata Starbus has been built for intra-city transportation, and is powered by a parallel hybrid engine comprising of an internal combustion CNG engine and an electric motor using regenerative energy storage system. Offering substantial improvement in fuel economy compared to a conventional bus, this technology leads to lower emissions, thereby contributing to cleaner air and a more environment-friendly commercial passenger transportation application.
The low-floor (floor height: 400 mm) airconditioned bus can seat 32 passengers, and can also accommodate wheel chairs. Pneumatically operated in-swing and out-swing flat doors allow easy entry and exit. Full air suspension and telescopic double-acting shock absorbers provide excellent ride quality, while an energy-efficient HVAC system enhances comfort. With high starting acceleration, and a maximum speed of 70 km per hour, the Hybrid Starbus is an innovative solution for fast and comfortable intra-city passenger movement in an environment-friendly manner.
During the Commonwealth Games, DTC will also operate a fleet of 600 Tata low floor air-conditioned CNG buses for the exclusive use of athletes and delegates. Tata Motors is providing round-the-clock upkeep & maintenance of these buses, with a dedicated team of over 500 engineers, mechanics and other staff at the Millennium Park Depot, specially created for the Commonwealth Games.
For a multinational sporting event shrouded in controversy even before its actual commencement, the Tata Hybrid Starbus appears to be one big step towards giving the CWG “clean” roads, if not a “clean” chit.