Tata Motors, commenced trials of its 9-metre electric bus in Guwahati on 16th October 2017. With a seating capacity of 26-34 passengers, the full-auto transmission Tata Ultra electric bus was flagged off by Anand Prakash Tiwari, Managing Director, Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) making it the first state transport undertaking (STU) in Eastern India to start trials of an electric vehicle. The STU in collaboration with Tata Motors will run the trials for seven days and will offer free transport service to the participants of FIFA team and devotees from Paltan Bazar to Maa Kamakhya Temple.
Tata Motors claims that it has become India’s first automaker to get ARAI and homologation certifications for its 9-m and 12-m electric buses. The company received a 350 units order from the state-run Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) to supply e-vehicles earlier this month, now signed an agreement with the Assam State Transport Corporation to run 9m e-buses that can carry 26-34 passengers.
This trial follows the successful trials of the 9-metre electric bus from Parwanoo to Shimla a few months ago, where the bus covered a distance of 160 kms in one full charge. Tata Motors says trials in Chandigarh also showed ‘very encouraging’ results in a running of 143 kms, covering approximately 70 percent of the charge. These trials are a part of the Ministry of Road Transport’s agenda for the electrification of public transport, for which Tata Motors is getting ready with its range of electric vehicles, from 9 meters and 12 meters with various seating configurations, as well as its last mile passenger transport vehicle, the Tata Magic Iris.
Tata Motors is banking on the order to supply electric cars to the government to accelerate its programme to offer full range of electric vehicles in the Indian market, according to company’s CEO and MD Guenter Butschek.
“It will help us accelerate our efforts to offer full range of electric vehicles to the Indian consumers,” Butschek told PTI when asked how the order would change the company’s EV programme.
He further said, “It has provided us an opportunity to leapfrog in boosting our presence in the e-mobility space.”
Tata Motors has taken major steps in hybridisation and electrification of passenger transportation and has developed technologies for hybrid and electric vehicles. It has also developed alternative fuel technologies such as CNG, LNG, Bio CNG, Bio Diesel and Fuel Cell. The electric vehicle developed on proven bus platforms also offer regenerative braking which recovers between 25 to 35 percent of the brake energy.
The electric buses are well equipped with a highly efficient drive train and weight optimised battery, coupled with Tata Motors proprietary energy management system and vehicle control strategy for a low total cost of ownership. The EV battery pack is optimised to avoid compromise on the passenger capacity proving the best efficiency in Kwhr/km. The EV battery is liquid cooled and specially designed for Indian temperature condition thus providing a higher battery life along with highly efficient performance. The roof mounted battery provides safety from water logging of electrical equipment. The range of the buses can be enhanced with smaller battery pack to 200 to 240 km with opportunity charging. The electric bus is also loaded with features such as multiplex wiring system, automatic ticketing / smart card enabled system, ITS enabled and reverse camera assist etc. which can be fitted on customer request.