IIT Delhi develops electric bus The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, has developed an electric bus that can be a boon for the country's polluted cities and towns dependent on diesel-run public transport. The battery-operated bus can carry about 150 people at a top speed of 65 kmph and cover about 160 km at one go. The vehicle runs free of vibration, noise and heat. The project follows years of research at the Instrument Design Development Centre of IIT.India Chronicle Electric bus promises India eco-friendly ride Friday April 29 2005 00:00 IST IANS
NEW DELHI: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, has developed an electric bus that can be a boon for the country's polluted cities and towns dependent on diesel-run public transport.
The battery-operated bus can carry about 150 people at a top speed of 65 kmph and cover about 160 km at one go. The vehicle runs free of vibration, noise and heat.
The project follows years of research at the Instrument Design Development Centre of IIT.
"Since 1996, we have been experimenting on various models. The aim was to come up with a pollution-free and efficient transport infrastructure," said project chief R. Arockiasamy told IANS.
The Rs.56 million ($1.2 million) spent on the project came in 1999 from the Oil Industry Development Board (OIDB) of the ministry of petroleum and natural gas.
The computer regulated engine of the bus works through a motor that draws power from a battery. An onboard charger that charges the battery runs on diesel, which is why the bus is called "hybrid electric vehicle".
"When operated without an onboard charger, it is called a zero emission vehicle (as diesel is not used). However, the onboard charger operates at the minimum specific fuel consumption point (of the engine) and therefore has negligible emission," Arockiasamy told IANS.
"Initially, there was much appreciation from the government. But before the vehicle could be commercialised, CNG (compressed natural gas) buses came in."
According to Arockiasamy, "The governments of West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi have shown interest in procuring this vehicle. Recently, the West Bengal government asked for 20 buses, but the final paper work is yet to take place."
S.K. Sud, chief design engineer of the project, said the technology can be used to convert 9,000 diesel buses in Delhi that are no more in use after public transport in the city shifted to CNG.
"To convert the buses into hybrid electric vehicles will be less expensive than switching to CNG," Sud said.
The battery bus has a life of 25 years and costs over Rs.2.1 million as compared to Rs.1.4 million for a diesel bus and about Rs.2 million for CNG.
According to the IIT team, the initiative needs government support to be successful. "The government has to take the first step. Once 50 to 100 (electric) buses are seen on Delhi's roads, the private players will show interest," Sud said.
Asked about the government's support to the project, one of the IIT team members said: "During his last visit at a test run, Minister of State for Statistics & Programme Implementation Oscar Fernandes assured that he would take up the issue with the central government."
S.D. Dua, senior accounts officer at OIDB, said: "The petroleum ministry has asked for the development report (of the bus), which would soon be tabled in parliament."
Meanwhile, the team is planning to drive the vehicle from Delhi to Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu to popularise this eco-friendly transport option.
"We will go for a 'Bharat Darshan' (India tour) on this vehicle to draw the attention of state governments as well as private parties," Arockiasamy said.