Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has placed an order for 25 Tata Hybrid buses. This is the single largest order awarded for Hybrid Electric vehicle technology. The buses will be deployed to connect Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) to railway stations of Sion, Bandra, and Kurla over the next one year.
The Tata Starbus diesel series hybrid bus with low floor configuration has been developed indigenously. The bus is claimed to offer the lowest cost of ownership and a fuel efficiency gain of 25-30%. The bus also achieves a significant reduction in emission compared to conventional buses since it covers 30-35% of the distance in pure electric mode.
The Starbus diesel series hybrid bus can run without the need of any external chargers as it incorporates an on board charging via its IC engine. Storage of electricity is taken care by lithium ion nano phosphate batteries. Electronic braking system with brake energy regeneration further extends the range.
Salient features of the low-floor hybrid city bus includes Intelligent Transport System (ITS) for public information which indicates ETA through GPS, HVAC, electronic display boards, bucket type seats, wide window panels, automatic fare collection, Wi-Fi on board, USB charging, soft Electronically Controlled Air Suspension (ECAS), tubeless tyres, closed circuit cameras and wide passenger bay.
The operation of Tata hybrid buses in the BKC corridor is expected to trigger more such public transport undertakings across other Indian metros.