Tata Motors has launched the STARBUS ELECTRIC 9m, the STARBUS ELECTRIC 12m and the STARBUS HYBRID 12m buses at its Pune facility. The company also showcased the country’s first FUEL CELL bus (12m), LNG Powered bus (12m), and 18m ARTICULATED bus for clean and green cities.
Tata Starbus Diesel Series Hybrid Electric Bus uses diesel & electric in series hybrid mode, to propel the vehicle that complies with all UBS-II (Urban Bus Specifications), AIS 051 (Automotive Industry Standards) and CMVR (Central Motor Vehicle Rules).
The vehicle works on an Electric Mode producing Zero emissions, while the diesel mode is BS 4 compliant. The bus is based on a modular chassis, with electronically controlled air suspension systems (ECAS) at the front & rear, electronically controlled braking systems and an automatic transmission.
The Starbus Hybrid also uses new generation lithium ion phosphate batteries (Prismatic Cell) and can run without external charging infrastructures, due to integration of on-board charging, with energy storage.
The Tata Hybrid Starbus offers substantial improvement in fuel economy compared to a conventional bus. The buses series hybrid technology offers lowest cost of ownership, with improved fuel savings of the order of 25-30% and reduction in emissions in comparison to conventional buses. The bus also runs on pure electric mode, for around 30-35% of the total travel distance.
In 2016, Tata Motors signed a contract for the single largest order for Hybrid Electric vehicle technology, with the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), to supply 25 nos. of the STARBUS DIESEL SERIES HYBRID ELECTRIC BUS, with Full Low floor configuration. These buses, to be delivered in Q1FY17-18, will connect Sion, Bandra & Kurla to Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), improving feeder services, to the fastest-growing business hub in Mumbai.
The STARBUS FUEL CELL bus is an environment-friendly bus and is ideal for stop and go applications. Compared with battery-electric vehicles—which recharge their batteries by plugging in—the combination of fast, centralized refueling and longer driving ranges make fuel cells particularly appropriate for larger vehicles, with long-distance requirements, or for operations with lack of a plug- access.
In the Hydrogen Fuel-Cell bus, hydrogen is stored in a compressed form, combining with oxygen from the air to generate electricity, giving out water vapor as the only emission. This technology makes bus travel completely clean and silent on-road. However, like other electric vehicles (EVs), the STARBUS FUEL CELL BUS employs idle-off, which shuts down the fuel cell at stop signs or in traffic.
The ULTRA ELECTRIC bus is available in two variants – 9m and 12m with Semi-Low Floor (SLF) of 650mm. With a wide passage-way for free movement, wider window panes for better visibility along with Semi-low Floor (SLF) of 650mm, for safe and convenient transportation for commuters to enjoy public transportation. It also ensures fatigue free driving with no clutch and gear shifting required.
These buses are fitted with CCTV cameras an Intelligence Transport Systems (ITS) for public information, through GPS via electronic destination display boards, indicating expected time of arrival at bus stops and route announcements within the bus.
LNG bus is an alternative to diesel and CNG power, providing benefits of lower carbon emissions and better fuel economy at the same time lowering operating costs, also significantly lowering emissions. It has better better fuel efficiency, due to high energy density of LNG, providing for a longer range at more than 700km in one filling.
The ARTICULATED bus (18m) is designed to carry more passengers (120+ versus 50-80), owing to its body design. The main benefits of an articulated bus over the standard bus are rapid simultaneous boarding and disembarkation through more and larger doors, much larger passenger capacity more efficient, less staff per bus hence higher revenue per bus. Wider doors provide ease of access for differently-abled passengers and the elderly.
Tata Motors currently designs, develops and manufacturers its buses in Pune, Dharwad, Pantnagar and Lucknow. Besides its partnership with ACGL of Goa for bus bodies, Tata Motors also has a joint venture with Marcopolo S.A. of Brazil, one of the largest bus body manufactures’ in the world, for fully built bus (FBV) solutions.