New York goes Hybrid – Where are we?

New York hybrid turbine driven bus under testing

I was going through a couple of articles in digg.com. One is about the introduction of significant amount of hybrid buses to the New York city fleet : http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/22/automobiles/autospecial2/22BUS.html. Another one is about test run of bus with turbine engine, to be introduced to New York fleet shortly : http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/27/mta-tests-sleeker-bus-with-turbine-engine/

Hybrid vehicle is the buzz word in the eco friendly community. They have both a fossil fuel engine and an electrical motor to run the vehicle. Authorities claim that in New York the hybrid bus goes 4 miles per gallon (1.7 km per litre), whereas a conventional diesel bus goes 2.75 miles per gallon (1.2 km per litre : significantly lower than Indian buses running 3-4 km per litre, almost 9 miles per gallon, 3 times better, ofcourse they have air conditioning needs). Apart from this what New Yorkers concentrating is the drop in SOOT (diesel particulate emission) of 97% and nitrogen oxides emission by 58%. They care about the lungs of their children. And these hybrid buses cost $1 million. But due to the high demand the cost dropped to half. In Indian rupee value it is almost 2.3 crore. Can you imagine a middle class family people riding a bus like this? Of course they are going to blame the government for the ticket cost rise. I have a point here to mention about our society. Before that I’ll tell about the next plan the New Yorkers are having.

The turbine engine is a revolutionary method to propel a vehicle. A turbine engine is used to propel a electrical generator which in turn runs the electrical motors. The authorities say, “It has no starter, no transmission, no water pump and no engine radiator, which should help us significantly reduce our maintenance costs. When you have an inspection every 3,000 miles, you do not have to drain the oil or drain the transmission.” They further said that this bus was the only bus in the authority’s fleet that met the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 emissions standards without the need for exhaust after-treatment.

So what are we going to do? Are we still going to complain about the 1 rupee raise in the bus tickets? You may ask a question. What will poor people do? My answer would be to visit the MTC website http://www.mtcbus.org/ and check the link “Concession Fares”. A school student can travel for just 15 rupees for the whole academic year any distance (home to school). And lot more. So what’s the point? you may ask. The point is, Are we working hard enough to improve our children’s future? How are we improving our life styles? Improving life style doesn’t mean that we prefer luxurious life. Its about eco-friendly. It costs more to be eco-friendly (initially but it will pay back). Let’s work hard to go eco-friendly (for our future and our children’s future).