G BALACHANDAR Truck and bus maker Ashok Leyland has bagged its first major electric bus order, for the supply of 50 buses to the Ahemdabad Bus Rapid Transit System.
“We have received the LoI (letter of intent). The purchase order is expected once the Centre confirms subsidies,” Karthick Athmanathan, Head – EV and eMobility Solutions, Ashok Leyland, told BusinessLine.
The electric buses are expected to start plying on the BRT corridor by the last quarter of this fiscal.
Asked whether Ashok Leyland will supply its Circuit-S buses, which were showcased at Auto Expo 2018, Athmanathan said the powertrain and architecture of the buses supplied will be the same as the Circuit-S range but it will be a ‘slightly different’ platform.
He further said Ashok Leyland is in the process of devising its energy management plan for the Ahmedabad order. “It could be a fast charging, swappable battery model, or some other solution. We have all the options and once the grid is confirmed, we will start implementing chargers and other support infrastructure,” he said.
While he couldn’t provide the order value, he said the price of electric buses would depend on the number of batteries.
Just the base electric bus, without the battery, will cost ₹35-40 lakh more than the diesel bus today, he said. “The price will be higher by another ₹15 lakh with battery,” he said adding, “this difference of ₹35-40 lakh between the electric base variant and diesel bus is expected to come down to ₹15-20 lakh in three-four years.
The Ahmedabad BRT tender is part of the Centre’s initiative to encourage State transport undertakings to procure electric buses with Central subsidy. The Centre has sanctioned ₹437 crore for the procurement of 390 electric buses across 11 major cities under the FAME programme.
Other States are also in the process of procuring electric buses, supported by the Centre’s subsidies. Last year, the State transport corporation of Himachal Pradesh floated its tender for India’s first big electric bus order for 25 units, which was bagged by Chinese company BYD. Read More