We have talked enough of Nano in recent times. We won’t bore the dear readers with more of it and rather talk about something that is infinite shoe sizes larger than the aforementioned compact. Recently at the International Busworld fair 2011, Mumbai, Tata Hispano Motors Carrocera SA (Tata Motors’ wholly owned subsidiary in Spain) displayed a Hybrid urban bus capable of running on Diesel, CNG or electricity. Designed by Tata Motors, the company says that this bus offers an optimal ecological efficiency. And we seem to have no option but to agree. Powered by not two but three different sources, if there has ever been something like ‘super-hybrid’, well this is it.
As we had earlier reported, Madrid has placed an order for ten such buses last year.
The displaying of the bus is not just a clever way to showcase the technologies developed by Tata Motors but as batteries are expected to reach a lower price point over the next few years, it also serves the purpose of emitting an important message out on to the market that Tata Motors is very much tech-ready for future.
Tata has listed the merits of the Electric-CNG-Diesel hybrid model in a press release and the list goes like:
- Siemens Electric traction system employed in over 2000 buses worldwide.
- A full electric model for short distances possible for ‘zero emissions’.
- Common hybrid drive for Diesel-Electric and CNG-Electric, which can be extended to Pure Electric, CNG micro turbine and hydrogen fuel cell buses(!!).
- Overall cost over the lifetime of the vehicle is lower, due to savings in running costs. Procuring cost is significantly higher.
- Regenerative electronic braking allows reuse of energy dissipated during braking. (Reminded me of KERS from F1)
- Very low and transient engine operation.
- Electrically driven auxiliary systems.
- Automatic Electric mode.
- Lithium-Ion (LiON) battery pack to provide better performance compared to Lead Acid pack.
- Smaller engine gives rise to less noise.
- Energy management strategies allows tuning to suit specific customer requirements, depending on the operations.
I almost had to keep my jaw from dropping down on to the floor after reading it all and had to doubly check if all this is not just something going to happen on Mother Earth but is to come from an Indian manufacturer. After all this, I have just a few words for TATA ; Kudos! Loved it and pray bring it on !
And coming back to the cutesy car I just talked about, why not a hybrid Nano ? *wink*