The city of Mumbai will have two Tata Motors CNG-electric hybrid buses on its streets this week, trialled by public transport provider Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST), reports The Times of India. BEST will conduct a month-long trial and later order more depending on the feedback. The 35-seater low-floor buses, featuring wheelchair access and accommodation, are expected to be well received by commuters.
BEST general manager Om Prakash Gupta apparently spoke of an earlier trial at a recent committee meeting, referring to the month-long trial run of diesel buses in October-November. He is reported as saying the operating costs of CNG buses are 25% lower than the diesel buses trialled.
The report added that the CNG-electric hybrid buses can run for 300 km at a stretch, and have an intelligent engine that switches automatically from CNG to battery when needed. The engine is said be 25% to 30% more fuel-efficient than normal CNG buses.