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Aluminium for Curbing GHG Emissions in Indian Public Transport Buses
ISSN: 0148-7191, e-ISSN: 2688-3627
To be published on April 14, 2020 by SAE International in United States
Major cause of air pollution in the world is due to burning of fossil fuels for transport application; around 23% Green House Gas (GHG) emissions are produced due to transport sector. Likewise, the major cause of air pollution in Indian cities is also due to transport sector. Marginal improvement in the fuel economy and emissions per kilometer travelled significantly impacts surrounding environment. Reduction in the vehicle mass gives substantial benefit in improving fuel economy. The quantum of benefit due to lightweighting increases where there are several start and stop conditions like city buses. In view above, study has been made for Indian city buses to understand weight optimization parameters. It was found that the major weight of the bus is of it's super structure which is made of steel and has a great potential for weight reduction. Considering this aspect, work has been carried out to develop lightweight aluminium superstrutured city bus comprising of design, development and prototype manufacturing of 12m Low Entry and 12m Semi Low Floor (SLF) buses. Aluminium lightweight Bus prototypes conforms to the Indian regulatory requirement viz. bus body code AIS:052, AIS:153 and strength requirements of Urban Bus Specification. Aluminium superstructures developed for both the buses are 30% lighter compared to steel buses of similar class. Fuel consumption trials carried out for typical city usage shows fuel economy improvement of 8-10%. In addition to improved fuel economy, attention is provided for human comfort by designing quiet passenger compartment and better NVH. Engineering challenges like dissimilar metal joining, strength & durability under Indian road conditions, human comfort and fuel efficiency improvement were addressed. Technology of light weighting through aluminum can be directly adapted for EV/HEV buses to compensate increased weight due to electrification. An attempt is made to demonstrate use of environment friendly material like aluminium for a public transport application. Aluminium can be recycled (upto 97%) and after end of vehicle life this aluminium property can give push to achieve cleaner environment alongwith recycling cost benefit. Increased use of aluminium on a large scale for mass transportation is a step towards greener environment by reducing GHG emissions.