Lightweighting of Public Transport Buses in India: An Impact Analysis 2011-28-0054
Sustainable mobility has become priority in the wake of environmental concerns viz. emissions and depletion of fossil fuels. The growing demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles to reduce energy consumption and air pollution is a challenge for the automotive industry. Significant improvements in fuel economy can be obtained by weight reduction of vehicle as well as by improvements in engine and powertrain efficiency. If the vehicle body mass is reduced, there will be secondary mass reductions at the component level, particularly in the powertrain.
Globally, automotive manufacturers have been engaged in efforts to develop lighter alternatives using aluminium alloys and other light weight materials, so as to reduce the energy requirement, improve the fuel consumption and reduce vehicular emissions.
While the growth in mobility is growing rapidly in India, the installed base is still comparatively small, compared to the developed countries. Hence it would be possible to influence the growth of transportation systems, through policy measures, to lower the carbon footprint. This paper highlights potential of light weighting of public transport buses by use of aluminium for the super structure, body closure panels, and other structural components viz. seat frames, windows etc., and discusses a few innovative technologies that have to be employed for lightweight construction. A comparative study was carried out for lifecycle energy savings potential of aluminium intensive bus in comparison to conventional steel body bus, by taking into consideration Driving Cycle developed for Delhi city, India.