I was not long ago when the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) had announced Electric Buses hitting the roads in the city. The authorities will be replacing diesel buses to electric buses by 2-3 years. In a further development, a startup company has come forward to help BMTC in the conversion process.
Start-up to help BMTC
Cell Propulsion, a Bengaluru based start-up has stepped forward to take this initiative. The firm aims to work on converting a diesel bus to an electrically run vehicle as a part of an experiment. The first converted vehicle is expected to hit the roads by next month and if this experiment goes well more such buses will be made in the future.
The buses are told to be run on 150-kilowatt/hour lithium-ion batteries and run up to 200 km on a single charge with a top speed of 60 km/hr.
Speaking on this development, Cell Propulsion’s co-founder Nakul Kukar said, “BMTC has asked us to demonstrate their idea on the bus. We’ve run a pilot by converting one of the running buses. Converting one bus would cost an estimated Rs 35-45 lakh. It would be good enough to run 200 kilometers,”
The startup was amongst three firms to win the Better Bus 2018 award from WRI India and FedEx. The Cell Propulsions earned funding of $50,000 and mentorship as part of the award.
How will they do that?
Explaining about the plain to convert the diesel bus into electric bus Kukar said, “What we do is take that engine and gearbox out and install an electric motor in its place which is connected to the vehicle’s wheels. So, when the motor starts running the wheels move along as well, and you control the speed, pick up and acceleration through a motor controller/drive.”
“To provide electricity to this motor, you have battery packs which are like fuel tanks, and can be mounted on the floor, roof and various other places in a vehicle, depending on its design and configuration.”
The mechanical conversion of this bus into an electric vehicle is happening in the BMTC’s workshop located in Shanti Nagar. The rest of the configuring and programming of other electronic elements of the bus is taking place at the startup’s facility in Electronic City. The startup could either lease the technology or it may sell it as a buyout.