The UNAM, through the Institute of Engineering (II), carries out energy evaluation tests with the so-called "Metrobusito" to evaluate some new and existing electromobility lines of the Mexico City Metrobus System.
The researcher of the II, Germán Carmona Paredes, explained that this work is carried out through the Laboratory for the Evaluation of Vehicle Technologies (LETEV). It is a project in collaboration with the Secretariat of Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation (SECTEI) of the Government of the Mexican capital.
"Metrobusito", recalled the university professor, is a plan in which UNAM, SECTEI, Chapultepec Forest, and the company VEMO participate. It is a 100 percent electric passenger vehicle that passed the first experimental tests, to become an evaluation instrument for electromobility and a transportation option for Mexico City.
Through a video broadcast during the Festival of Sciences and Humanities 2021, the researcher detailed that the unit uses batteries that provide up to 200 kilometers of autonomy. "It is a five and a half meter bus, with capacity for 22 passengers, 12 of them standing and 10 seated, with a very wide vestibule, it also has a low floor to receive and raise passengers with wheelchairs, through a ramp that unfolds".
The specialist -who has 27 years of professional experience in the development of electric and hybrid vehicles-, clarified in a subsequent interview that it is a commercial truck of Turkish origin, the Karsan brand, which was acquired by the company VEMO.
Carmona Paredes explained that on behalf of the II he participated in the identification and selection of the vehicle and some tests in University City; together with the Metrobus System, in the selection of the first stage of operation and the prototypical operation in the current lines, as well as the follow-up.
"The 'Metrobusito' will be useful for us to evaluate test routes, obtain orthographies, slopes, speeds, accelerations, and with that calculate the energy we require for the large Metrobus units and layout very specific routes; that is, to make tailor-made vehicles from the point of view of electric mobility," the expert emphasized.
The UNAM, said Germán Carmona, participates with the Mexico City Government in order to cover transportation and electric mobility needs.
The 'Metrobusito' is one of the examples to recover vehicles of this size, which were discarded with the well-known microbuses, which are already an obsolete technology; however, we seek to retake that vehicle dimension, but with electric traction.
Regarding electromobility issues, he said, we have proposed from small vehicles to 12-meter buses and we are developing power trains in collaboration with the Mexican industry. With SECTEI's sponsorship, there are two important projects: to establish the LETEV; and development to develop hybrid traction systems, but betting on having smaller battery banks and, therefore, at lower costs, he concluded.