India's Tata Motors is showing five new diesel-powered public transport buses at the biggest B2B bus and coach exhibition in the world, BusWorld India 2018 in Bangaluru. The show opened Wednesday and closes today.


Tata Motors Magna luxury intercity coach at BusWorld India 2018, August 28, 2018
(Photo courtesy Tata Motors)



The five new models in what Tata Motors calls its sustainable public transportation line are: the Starbus Ultra AC 22-seater, the Starbus AC 12-seater, the Winger 12-Seater, the 1515 MCV staff bus and the Magna luxury intercity coach.



Although the company says it is committed to sustainable public transportation, Tata is using diesel as the primary fuel for these five new buses, large and small. The new models have advanced safety features and excellent fuel economy, more comfortable seats and a longer service life than previous models.



"Through our product offerings, we are shifting the paradigm for new age products and mobility solutions, not just for the passengers but for drivers too," said Sandeep Kumar, who heads sales and marketing for Tata Motors' Passenger Commercial Vehicle Division.



Says Rohit Srivastava, product line head in that same division, "Buses from Tata Motors are a hallmark of excellence, and the range has adapted innovations to suit both Indian and global travel conditions."



"Under our Turnaround 2.0 strategy," said Srivastava, "we are aggressively focusing on introducing new range of products with improved features and state-of-the-art technological advancements."



The exhibition was opened by Karnataka Chief Minister G. Parmeshwara, who said, "Over 70 lakh [a hundred thousand] vehicles run on Bangalore roads everyday and our roads were not built to take so much of a traffic load. We require an efficient public transport system, including buses. There is a proposal with our government to replace all buses with electric buses in about five years time."



Tata is on the verge of bringing out a hydrogen fuel-cell bus.


Together with IndianOil Corp., Tata says it will carry out testing on a new Tata hydrogen fuel-cell bus for about two years, until March 2020, before taking further decisions about offering it to the public.


Tata has developed hybrid, electric, LNG and articulated buses to meet the transportation needs of smart cities of the future, but for now it's diesel, to keep up with the competition.


The competition is the MG Group, India's largest bus building company, which unveiled three new luxury coaches at the Busworld India 2018: the Glider, Gliderz and Dreamz. All three were developed over Daimler chassis, Mercedes-Benz and Bharatbenz, and all three are powered by diesel engines.


MG is placing the emphasis on luxury and interior appointments, with sleeper berths, reclining luxury seats, USB mobile charging sockets and air conditioning.


While Indian passengers will appreciate the luxury buses, they don't have the luxury of clean air.


The World Health Organization says that of the top 15 world’s most-polluted cities, 14 of them are located in India. Most of the polluted cities are in north India including its capital New Delhi.


Air pollution in India is considered a crisis. In response, India's transportation industry is proposing that by 2030, all the vehicles on the market will be completely electrified and internal combustion vehicles will be moved out of market permanently. The plan has been well received.


India is preparing a fresh policy for promoting electric vehicles among these heavily polluted cities, with priority given to those with at least four million residents.


In April, Patna, the capital of the northern Indian state Bihar, being one of the top 15 most-polluted cities, announced the city will purchase 30 electric buses and put them in service instantly. That means Patna will become the first city in India to own electric buses.



By Sunny Lewis

Environment News Service (ENS)

August 31, 2018