To address energy security and environment concerns, the government and the auto industry are trying to find alternate modes for transportation. Tata Motors has always been at the forefront to innovate more environment-friendly and efficient products for public transportation. Tata Motors started its innovation with CNG products, and moved on to series and parallel CNG-electric hybrid buses. At the Auto Expo 2012 the company has showcased yet another creation — the Tata Starbus – Fuel Cell (Hydrogen) bus.
The Tata Starbus – Fuel Cell is a zero emission transport solution for commuting within the city. This environment-friendly bus is ideal for stop and go applications, and is built on rear module low entry platform, equipped with a ramp facility, pneumatic door operations, and climate control features.
The fuel cell technology makes this bus completely clean and silent bus on-road. Hydrogen is stored in compressed form, which combines with oxygen from the air to generate electricity, and gives water vapour as the only emission. This electricity is used to charge the battery to power the motor of the bus. A number of fuel cells are combined to form a fuel cell stack, which is placed in the rear module of the bus. This mechanism involves a fuel cell with gross peak power of 114 HP, coupled with a motor with the peak power output of 250 HP from 600 rpm to 2100 rpm and torque of 1050 Nm at 800 rpm. The maximum speed of the bus is 70 kmph and gradability is 17%, which is very suitable for city application.
The bus comes with hydraulic power steering, pneumatic suspension and full air dual circuit SCAM brakes with ABS, and radial tubeless tyres. The instrument cluster and cabin controls are of world class design. Quick and effortless acceleration make the driving experience less tiresome for the driver.
Tata Starbus – Fuel Cell has the potential to revolutionise public transportation in India. The efficiency in a fuel cell bus is about 40-60% which is almost 3 times than that of conventional buses. This leads to more than 50% reduction in fuel costs per Km. Since hydrogen is a domestically produced fuel, there will be no dependency on foreign policies and expensive fuels. Fast refueling will also reduce the downtime of the bus.
Thus, the Tata Starbus – Fuel Cell provides a convenient, quiet, completely relaxed and smooth ride.