Compressed natural gas (CNG) engines are gaining momentum worldwide due to reduced harmful gas emissions and lower fuel costs. In Turkey, domestically-owned bus manufacturer TCV is promoting the development of CNG applications and technology, and Kayseri Metropolitan Municipality recently took delivery of its first 12-meter Karat CNG buses equipped with Allison fully automatic transmissions.
Kayseri is located in the heart of Anatolia, one of fastest-growing cities in Turkey, and now the seventh largest by population. With substantially increased traffic, the city has been investing in projects that reduce dependence on cars, encourage public transportation and develop environmentally-friendly solutions. Kayseri studies show that CNG buses are becoming the preferred public transportation option, fulfilling all requirements of a rapid, environmentally-friendly, economic, comfortable and safe transportation system.
According to İlker Yılmaz, TCV’s General Coordinator, Kayseri Metropolitan Municipality is a pioneer, understanding that the key to public transportation is a focus on people. “In regards to urban transportation, environmentally-friendly solutions like CNG buses show respect for human beings and the environment. Our Allison-equipped Karat CNG buses provide up to 50 percent fewer fuel emissions when compared to diesel alternatives and ensure excellent performance. That means that our Karat bus offers both greener technology, as well as a more economical option for operators and passengers.”
The 12-meter Karat power-pack consists of a MAN 206 kW CNG engine and an Allison T310R fully automatic transmission designed to ensure engine torque multiplication at vehicle launch and reduced driveline shock; this advanced technology offers a great advantage in frequent stop and go applications, such as urban bus routes.
“Equipping all of our Karat CNG buses with Allison transmissions allows us to best meet the efficiency and savings expectations of our customers,” Yılmaz said. “While an Allison transmission provides safety, comfort and ease of driving, it also reduces maintenance costs and fuel consumption,” he concluded.
TCV first selected the Allison T310R transmission for its new KARAT full low-floor, CNG-fuelled, 12-meter bus in April last year. The first 24 KARAT buses were delivered to Istanbul Buses Corporation. The bus seats 27 passengers and has standing room for 72 seated, a total of 99 passengers.
Also in the region of Anatolia, Konya Metropolitan Municipality operates a fleet of natural gas buses also, taking delivery of several Karat CNG buses in February this year.
In June 2012, Bolu Municipality in northwest Turkey took delivery of its first CNG-fuelled refuse trucks, being nine new Iveco Stralis trucks equipped with Allison 3000 Series fully automatic transmissions.
(Sources: Allison Transmission and TCV)