Hybrid buses to the rescue!

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Under the Smart City Mission, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is rapidly improving the physical and social infrastructure within the city. To meet the transport requirements of its growing population and to tackle the ever-increasing problem of pollution, PMC has proposed to add 100 hybrid buses in the transport fleet with private sector participation.

Hybrid buses offer a wide range of benefits, including significantly lower emissions, increased efficiency, decreased maintenance costs, and are estimated to cut emissions by as much as 75 per cent when compared to conventional diesel buses.

The hybrid buses will be equipped with an intelligent transport management system (ITMS) including LED-based destination board and on-board driver console/CPU/GPS with a facility of two-way communication with the central command centre as per the UBS-II guidelines. ITMS will be integrated with the existing ITMS systems of the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd (PMPML).

In another development, even the city of Kolkata is going green and clean. The city will witness India’s first bus to be run on human and animal waste and ferry passengers on a 17.5 km route between Ultadanga and Garia.

That said, last year, the country saw Navi Mumbai to be the first city to adopt hybrid buses. The Volvo 8400 City buses come under the category of Faster Adoption & Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid Vehicle (FAME) scheme provided by the Government, which allows around Rs 61 lakh as subsidy. The total cost of the hybrid bus is around Rs 2.3 crore.

How hybrid buses work?
Upon starting, the hybrid bus uses the diesel engine to start up, which is later taken over by the electric system. The electric motor powers the bus up to the speed of 20 kmph above which it switches back to the diesel engine.

This system benefits in every start and stop occasion, helping to save on fuel consumption and achieve reduced emission. The hybrid bus is equipped with a re-generative braking system, which also contributes to charging the lithium-ion batteries.

Being hybrid, the bus is low on noise levels – inside and outside. On the technology front, all the buses will have an on-board system which monitors and generates fuel consumption reports, battery status and usage, and overall monitoring of the bus for fleet management.