BMTC to test hybrid bus to slash diesel expenses

BMTC to test hybrid bus to slash diesel expenses

The hybrid bus acquired by the corporation.

The Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) will soon conduct trial runs of a hybrid bus that promises to cut its diesel expenses by nearly 50%, even as officials hope to seal a deal for procuring 300 electric buses over the next two weeks.

The BMTC recently procured nine air-conditioned buses from Volvo, which has also provided a hybrid bus that runs on both electric energy and diesel on a trial basis. The bus arrived at the BMTC central depot on Monday and officials said drivers will be trained first before deploying the vehicle for trial.

BMTC managing director C Shikha said the trial will help the corporation understand whether the bus will be suitable for the operational needs of the corporation. 

The hybrid bus has been designed to run on electric energy, with the diesel engine kicking in when the bus needs additional power.

“The best part of the technology is that the battery gets charged during the diesel combustion, reducing a significant amount of charging time,” an official said.

Officials said the average mileage of the Volvo AC buses that run on diesel in BMTC is 2.3 kmpl. Volvo buses run for about 200 km everyday, consuming about 84 litres of diesel.

“Considering that the average speed in some areas of the city is about 10 to 15 km, we hope to see a reduction in fuel consumption by 40% to 50%,” an official said.

Decision next week

The BMTC may finally succeed in its attempt to procure 300 electric buses under the Union government’s Faster Adoption and Manufacture of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicles. Shikha said the technical bids for electric buses have been evaluated and the corporation was expecting to see a favourable financial bid.

“We have changed the terms of the tender to make it attractive and hope to see a better offer,” she said.

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