Saturday, 9 January 2010

Eco-friendly buses to ferry Commonwealth Games athletes

Taking inspiration from the Beijing Olympics, Delhi government too is keen to display its commitment towards the conservation of environment to the world. It plans to introduce ‘hybrid’ electric buses during the Commonwealth Games to be held in October 2010.

These hybrid buses will run on CNG and electric energy, and the government plans to station them at all 11 Games venues to transport athletes and spectators. It may also possibly give joyrides to inquisitive visitors.

While Delhi already has a huge base for a CNG-propelled public transport system and it has recently introduced subsidies on the cost of battery-operated cars and two-wheelers, Delhi Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta said these hybrid buses would be in addition to the eco-friendly transportation structure to be provided during the Games.

“Hybrid buses were a part of the system during Beijing Olympics. Delhi, too, has a green city agenda and the event (Commonwealth Games) could be used to extend our commitment to the cause,” he said.

With the Capital expecting to have at least 2,500 low-floor and semi-floor buses by October 2010, Mehta said this would be a part of the city’s green bus agenda.

He added that while the government was still contemplating on the idea, if it worked, the buses could also be made to operate on a particular route.

In a bid to ensure zero-emission transportation during the Olympics in Beijing, the Chinese government had about 500 eco-friendly vehicles running on alternative fuels. These included 53 electric buses, 25 hybrid buses, 75 hybrid taxis, 20 fuel-cell cars and more than 320 other electric vehicles.

A hybrid electric vehicle has two sources of power. While one converts fuel (CNG in this case) into propelling energy, the other, usually an electric motor powered by an advanced storage device, lowers the demand on the first source of energy. The arrangement usually allows one or both simultaneously, depending on the situation. While electric energy can be used alone to fuel the vehicle when on a plain terrain for a given period, the two power sources can be used together when negotiating tough turns and slants.


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