JBM Solaris displayed a 12 m Eco-Life electric bus. Jointly developed by JBM Auto and European e-mobility specialist, Solaris Bus and Coach S.A., through a joint venture, the EcoLife city bus is 100 per cent electric, and manufactured at Faridabad. Having a corrosion resistant monocoque structure and aluminum side panels for higher rigidity and high torsional stiffness, the bus has been designed as per the European standards and follows the safety norms for frontal collision, roll over and side impact. Employing high strength glass fibre composite parts at the front, rear and top, the bus employs an inverted portal axle. The design allows for more room inside. Suspension is pneumatic, and is electronically controlled. Front suspension is independent. The rear has double pneumatic springs coupled with an anti roll bar. Expected to save 3.5 lakh litres of diesel over ten years of operation, the Eco-Life bus is claimed to save 959 equivalent tonnes of carbon dioxide.
The direct drive electric powertrain gets a traction motor that delivers 160-215 kW power and has been designed to interface with standard rear differential without requiring an intermediate gearbox. Based on the traffic conditions, the Eco-Life bus is claimed to have a range of 150-200 kms over 10-15 hours of city bus operations. At the heart of drive systems are four-pole asynchronous traction motors and lithium ion batteries controlled by traction controller and battery management system. The design is such that the batteries feed the traction controller which in turn controls the traction motor. Powered by the fast charging lithium ion batteries, the bus can be recharged through a pantograph and plug-in systems, allowing the bus to opt for differing infrastructure that the operator might possess.
The components that are conventionally fed by compressors, powered by an internal combustion engine, have been replaced with electric counterparts in the Eco-Life. The batteries thus are no longer an electric energy source for the motors only, they are also a source of energy for the auxiliary systems including HVAC system, air compressor motor and power steering motor through a High Voltage Switching Station (HVSS). Stating that India has close to 80,000 buses which should convert to electric in the next eight years, Nishant Arya, Executive Director, JBM Group, expressed that they are looking at various developments where the government’s prime focus is on public transportation. “We will soon launch a nine-meter electric bus,” he said.
⇨ JBM Solaris 12 m Eco-Life electric bus.