India vehicle makers are strengthening EV portfolio in a big way
India is looking at having an all-electric car fleet by 2030. According to Niti Ayog’s February 2017 workshop conducted in collaboration with Rocky Mountain Institute, over and above this economic saving, CO2 emissions from road transport will be down by a whopping 37%. The country will soon embark on an audaciously ambitious program aimed at switching most, if not all, of its vehicles sold, to battery power by 2030.
The scheme, which is in its final stages of drafting, will kick off later this year and the government expects it to scale up within three years. The roll out is expected to start with public transport & common man’s transport in the first phase.
Tata Motors is focusing more on electrification of its commercial vehicles. Tata Motors is India’s largest automobile company, with consolidated revenues of USD 41 billion in 2015-16. In January, this year, the company launched its electric and hybrid buses and also showcased country's first 12-metre fuel-cell bus. Tata Motors continues to be a leader in this segment not just by setting technological benchmarks but also by adapting innovations effectively to suit Indian travel conditions. In order to push green technology in mass public transportation in India, Tata Motors had recently unveiled a full electric and a hybrid bus Besides, the OEM also unveiled a bus with fuel cell technology and electric versions of its light commercial vehicles SuperAce, Magic and Magic Iris.
In January this year, Tata Motors announced that it has created a dedicated vertical within the passenger vehicle business unit called TAMO to facilitate innovation, explore new business models and strike partnerships for future mobility solutions. TAMO will act as an open platform to network with global start-ups and leading technology firms to access new trends, innovations and solutions for the design of future products and services, said Guenter Butschek, managing director and chief executive of Tata Motors. It will create a digital ecosystem, which can be leveraged by Tata Motors to support its business, he added. This platform is likely to include bigger & more premium range of Electric Vehicles.
Last year, Ashok Leyland, the second largest Commercial Vehicle maker in India, unveiled the country’s first electric bus ‘Circuit’ designed and engineered entirely in India, by Indians, for the nation. In line with its vision for the future of mass mobility, the country’s first ‘Made in India’ 100% electric bus is a zero-emission vehicle created by the OEM specifically for Indian road and load conditions. This new Circuit range of vehicles will be offered on multiple platforms. Integrated with a fire detection and suppression system (FDSS), this truly Indian innovation can travel 120 kilometres on a single charge. It is built on a simple, mass-market platform that will enable the operator to cater to customers in city centres with minimal operational and maintenance costs.
Volvo Buses had taken the lead by introducing the Volvo hybrid city bus in India last year. Navi Mumbai became the first-ever city in the country to adopt hybrid buses. The Volvo hybrid solution has a proven track record of saving 30 to 35 percent fuel. The technology also enables up to 50 percent reduction in hazardous emissions in actual customer operations.
The Volvo 8400 Hybrid City Bus is a variant of the existing Volvo City Bus, nearly 1,500 units of which are currently operating in 34 cities across India. This new bus has a parallel hybrid system, which comprises of a 5-litre, 4-cylinder, in-line diesel engine and an electric motor. The vehicle is propelled purely on electric mode from the moment it starts till it gains required momentum.