Automobiles, while making living easy and convenient, have also made human life more complex and vulnerable to toxic emissions. Transport sector is huge contributor in polluting air in the entire world in the tune of around 23%.Mass transport uses buses as the medium for generalized and convenient means for commutation from one place to other. Similar pattern is observed in India for mass transportation mainly in the cities. However, commuting through buses comes with penalty of environmental pollution. City buses are large contributor in GHG emission and can be considered as prime candidates for making any kind of changes which will help in reducing environmental pollution. Immense potential lies in existing bus designs for weight optimization which has direct impact in improving fuel economy and hence will have sustainable impact in reducing carbon emissions.
This paper outlines systematic approach used for development of lightweight buses using Aluminium addressing safety, durability and necessary regulatory requirements. Effective use of aluminium in development of lightweight bus structure is demonstrated in this project. While designing lightweight structure for weight optimization due care is taken for addressing prevailing regulatory norms related to AIS:052 bus body code, AIS:153 outlining safety requirements and Urban Bus Specification issued by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways specifying strength and safety requirements of bus structure. Aluminium bus designs developed shows more than 30% weight reduction compared to steel structured buses of similar class. Fuel efficiency improvement in the tune of minimum 8% and maximum 10% are observed during field level trials.
Keywords: Aluminium; Lightweighting; Fuel Economy; Public Transport; Safety and durability
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