Home-grown Ashok Leyland made a stunning display at the on-going 2016 Delhi Auto Expo with their all-new “Hybus” Hybrid bus, which can be dubbed as India’s first non-plugin series hybrid bus assisted by ultra-capacitors that gets rid of the need for external charging infrastructure.
Being a fully-indigenous technological concept, the Hybus saves up to 25% on fuel consumption, claims the company. There is an apparent reduction in emissions as well.
The Hybus works this way. There is a H-Series 6-cylinder diesel (BS 4 compliant) engine making 225 hp and 800 Nm of max torque, but it works simply as a genset to charge the ultracapacitors that powers the 150 kW electric motor. In other words, there is no mechanical relation between the engine and the drive axle. This results in fuel-efficient running of the engine and lower NVH (Noise-Vibration_harshness) levels. This series hybrid system has its own advantages for the urban start-stop driving conditions due to higher recuperation of energy at all stages.
The Ultra-capacitors are basically the advanced power-dense energy storage devices suitable for frequent charge and discharge cycles. AL says that they are 4 to 5 times more long-lasting than the conventional lithium-ion batteries. Along with an on-board generator, the technology of regenerative braking charges these high-capacity power banks. The bus is also equipped with automatic start-stop decreasing the overall engine idling time. The bus can restart using the stored energy when the engine is off.
The Hybus is built on the same multi-modular integral frame, chassis and body of the regular low-floor city bus range, spicing up with dual-tone external paint job, panoramic windows, air-conditioned cabin, and on-board wifi and USB charging points. For driver, there are clutch-less driving, multi-fucntional steering wheel, and a vehicle warning and diagnosis system.
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Other key features of this hybrid bus concept includes electronically-controlled braking system and electronic air suspension. At the auto expo, AL’s market opponent Tata Motors unveiled their Starbus Hybrid concept.