Hybrid – The Alternative Fuel Concept hybrid vehicle, working principle of hybrid vehicle, hybrid vehicle list, hybrid electric vehicle, hybrid vehicle types, hybrid vehicle technology, hybrid vehicle history

The hunt for Alternate fuel when there is a wide gap between the demand Vs availability. Over and above the stringent emission norms drives the vehicle manufacturer's to run for the alternate fuel which could easily meet the emission standards.

Though it is possible to meet the laid norms to control the pollutions with the existing fuel, the vehicle manufacturer's need to incorporate high end technology with additional components which considerably increases the cost, to design the vehicle. The best option available was to go for alternate fuel which can able to meet the pollution norms without compromising on performance part and with NO additional cost.

Source of Pollution

In the regular fuel, when the Hydro Carbons burns with oxygen it emits Carbon Di oxide (CO2) and water (H2O) in the ideal burning condition. But in common practice 100 percent fuel will not burn, and few drops of un-burnt fuel  comes out of the engine in the form of Carbon Monoxide( CO) or Carbon dioxide (CO2) and  this is the gas which pollutes the environment . And in Diesel Engines the high emission of Nitrogen Oxide (NO) is more damaging to the health. Despite using very clean modern diesel engine, the diesels produce 24 times more Nitrogen Oxide (NO) than petrol version and produce particulate matters which the petrol engine does not produce. Petrol engine however produce double the amount of Carbon Monoxide (CO) than the diesel engines.

Types of Fuel:

  • Diesel
  • Petrol
  • Hydrogen
  • Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)
  • Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)
  • Compressed Bio Bus (CBG)


Among the above, the CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) is growing as fastest alternate fuel in the world due to its following characteristics.

  • Availability to the required extent
  • Environment friendly
  • Optimum efficiency
  • Enhanced safety
  • Economic advantages

CNG Advantage:

  • CNG emits significantly less harmful gasses like Carbon di oxide, Carbon monoxide, unburned Hydrocarbons, Nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides and Particulate matters.
  • The Compressed Natural gas is free from Lead and Benzene and hence spark plug fouling is completely eliminated.
  • Since the CNG does not dilute the lubricating oils, frequent oil replacement need not required.
  • Since the CNG is in the form of gas, it readily mixes with the air during combustion process and increases the burning efficiency.
  • CNG produces over 1.7 times higher energy as that released from the petrol, and for the same amount of energy, CNG emits nearly 40% less CO2 as that of petrol.

CNG- Combustion Process:

The CNG combustion process is similar to petrol engine with spark plug and specially designed combustion chamber with low compression ratio. But unlike in petrol engine, here the gas is directly injected in to the combustion chamber. Due to adoption of Otto Cycle in the combustion process the engine is very silent and free from any vibration as compared to Diesel engine.

Combustion Process:

  • Air (Oxygen) gets in to the combustion chamber during suction stroke and gets compressed.
  • Natural gas injected in to the compressed intake air.
  • Mixture being ignited in the cylinder by means of externally induced ignition Spark plug.
  • The engine power is getting regulated by varying the mixture quantity.

Compressed Natural Gas is “Fossil fuel” obtained by compressing the natural gas which is mainly composed of Methane(CH4).  It is compressed to the 1% of the volume it occupies at standard atmospheric pressure. CNG is stored and distributed at a pressure as high as 220 to 250 bar, and which are normally stored in a hard cylindrical and spherical containers.

The Compressed natural gas is widely used in Heavy goods vehicles, Light commercial vehicles, vans, passenger vehicles and Buses.

The number of CNG vehicles are growing at the faster rate ie. as high as 2,35,000 vehicles per month world wide, and the rate of increase was phenomenal  in the last year which shown the increase of almost  30% from the volume of 3,10,000 vehicles to 4,00,000 vehicles.  By looking at the rate of increase in the CNG vehicles, it is expected that the volume may touch whopping 66,000,000 at the end of the year 2020.

CNG Storage and Fuel Supply System

A Case Study : MAN CNG Buses

“MAN” a well known name in Heavy vehicle Industry has many more CNG models in its credit. With the fleet ranging from 12 meters Buses to 18.75 meters and with twin and multiple door combinations.

History Of MAN CNG Buses

  • In 1972 MAN has introduced LNG Buses for Munich Olympic games
  • In 1988 MAN has introduced SL 202 CNG Buses.
  • In 2001 MAN has introduced CNG Buses for Zwickau, Germany.
  • MAN has introduced CNG Buses for Frankfurt on order in the year 2003.

The other products of MAN CNG Buses includes A74 EGO Ankara, A21 Nürnberg, A26 Liechtenstein, A23 Augsburg, A23 Saarbrücken, and A26 Stockholm.

MAN Buses : CNG Share 2009- 2011

Running Cost Comparison : DIESEL Vs CNG:

Running cost comparison was made between Diesel and CNG vehicles base on the total consumption of the fuels for the specified period with specified load condition. The basis of the calculations is

  • Period   10 years
  • KM clogged annually 60,000KM
  • Cost of Diesel 1.40 EUR per litre.
  • Cost of CNG    1.00 EUR per Kg.

Maintenance Cost and  Repair Analysis

The above analysis was done assuming the running period as 10 years with running KM as 60,000 annually. The labour rate and parts cost to German standards.

Hybrid : Driving with Braking Energy.

Brake More………………………..Gain  More.

Some thing sounds irrelevant to Automobile industry. But it is true.

The hybrid is the magic world for the future of the Automobile Industry. Here the braking energy is acting as Hybrid to enhance the driving force of the Automobiles. It consists of a combustion engine and an electric motor working together under the same hood. The interesting thing is that the electric motor can use the energy generated during braking. It is clear that the Hybrid is logical in city traffic where the driver of the vehicle applies the brake very frequently.

The Working Principle of Hybrid Drive

When the driver applies the brake, this braking energy is stored in the Capacitor Batteries which is usually kept on the roof of the vehicle. The recovered energy is used again when the vehicle starts off by the electric motor that drives the wheels of the vehicle via the rear axle.

How It Flows

  • Driver of the vehicle to brake frequently then start off again.
  • The energy gets stored in the capacitor battery which is generally kept on the roof of the vehicle.
  • The power Electronics connects the electric motor to the electricity storage system. This interconnection ensures that the energy derived from the braking flows in to the circuit.
  • The high performance capacitor modules are located under the roof doom. These modules store the released braking energy in a highly efficient manner.
  • Two electric motors each deliver 75 kilowatts take over driving the wheels, which are already powered by the diesel engine via generator and/or by the energy store via the power electronics.
  • The high performance generator is attached to the diesel engine via an adaptive transmission. With An output of 150 KW, it sends the energy from the diesel engine to the two electric motors.
  • The common rail diesel engine outputs 190 KW. It cuts in if the stored energy is no longer sufficient. It happens when the driver of the vehicle puts his foot hard on the gas pedal

The History has seen numerous technical innovations. The Hybrid drive unit qualifies as the technology of the future.

For Complete Research Report Contact sales@autobei.com

Autobei Consulting Group

‘Autobei Consulting Group (ACG) ’ is a management consulting group which has leveraged on its expertise and proprietary databases to provide "Customized Solutions" in areas such ‘Sales Analysis’, ‘Business Planning’, ‘Market assessment’ and ‘Project Feasibility’ on Global Automotive Industry. Autobei Consulting Group (ACG) make use of the expertise and vast experience to deliver Cutting Edge Research Solutions.


  1. It is interesting that hybrid systems are going to be actively deployed in Indian Automotove Industry. We look forward for the innovations required for the braking system updates in line with hybrid engines / motors systems.

  2. Interesting and informative article. In spite of all subsidies Electric vehicle have not seen commercial success. Hybrids are 1/2 electric. To break even the price difference( between a petrol and a hybrid vehicle) it take about 6 years (Toyota Prius ). Not a good investment. Alternate fuel vehicles need strong infrastructure and establishing these distribution channels will face Large Petroleum firms resistance.
    But electric vehicles have a great opportunity in India where driving distance( and recharging) is less of an issue because most vehicles are driven only few Km/day. Availability of electricity to charge in rural areas is a concern here.

    In my opinion, short term answer is for OEMs to reduce the price of Hybrids to same level as a gasoline vehicle, even if they have to take a LOST LEADER strategy. Only then people will switch to alternate energy source.

    Environmental reasons are not enough to pay the price difference

  3. A wonderful and informative article. Keep it up, Aravindan!

  4. This is the Technology which will Drive Future Automotive World.

    Irfan Ilahi
    Executive-Export Sales(Middle East)-Toyota Oman

  5. Whole concept is flipped specially engine and driver position

    Mahesh Sawant
    Sr. Consultant-Investment Banking

  6. “Very interesting”
    Rajesh Mundra

  7. “The big question is the COST of Hybrids.”

    Assistant manager Customer support & OEM Product assurance
    Allison Transmission

  8. “Nice concept (Go Greeen Concept)”

    Nithiyanandam Gopi
    Assistance Engineer

  9. my view for hybrid not getting commercial response is
    1 complex electronics
    a fleet owner take the driver f/b on priority ,doubt is on driver skill to judge complex electronics.
    2 Cost
    initial cost is very high & difficult to convince the owner payback time.
    3 after market support
    driver is not psychologically prepared for breakdown support for hybrids. even most of the OEM’s are dependent on their suppliers for technological support.
    4 the scenario could change only once the OEMs shows confidence on product support to end user (not depending on their suppliers).

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