Tata Motors has commenced the trial run of its 9 metre electric bus in Chandigarh. The Tata Ultra Electric 9 metre bus will run for a period of 15 days as part of the trial, in collaboration with the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) and the State Transport Department. Tata's pilot-run is part of the city administration's process of introducing electric buses under its Smart City plan.
Tata has said that the Chandigarh trial run is in continuation to the trial of the 9 metre electric bus from Parwanoo to Shimla a few weeks ago. In the previous run, the buses covered a distance of 160 km in a single charge. With respect to the trials in Chandigarh, the automaker said that the initial runs show very encouraging results in a running of 143 km, covering approximately 70 per cent of the charge.
The trials are part of the Ministry of Road Transport's agenda for the electrification of public transport. For the same, Tata Motors is getting ready with its range of electric vehicles, from 9 metres and 12 metres with various seating configurations. There will also be its last mile passenger vehicle - Tata Magic Iris.
Speaking on the commencement of the pilot run, Tata Motors - Engineering Research Centre Head, Dr. AK Jindal said, "Tata Motors is participating in similar trials currently under way in Nagpur, where these buses were flagged off very recently by Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and the Government of Maharashtra. These trials are part of Tata Motors larger strategy to be present with its electric vehicle offerings, with best-in-class value proposition, helping the company better understand its customer requirements under different operating conditions, to suitably optimize its offerings. Tata Motors is also working with various study groups formed by the central government to work out various business models for operating electric vehicles and to optimize the overall economics of these buses."
Tata is all set to deliver the first set of the modern, full low floor Hybrid buses to MMRDA (Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority). The approval for commencement of supplies for these buses was recently received from the government body for 25 such buses, making it the single largest order awarded for Hybrid Electric vehicle technology in India.
With the newfound focus towards electric technology, Tata Motors certainly is aiming to capture the market with an early presence. The company has launched the 9 metre and 12 metre Starbus Electric bus, 12 metre Starbus Hybrid bus and has also showcased the futuristic 12 metre Hydorgen Fuel-Cell bus, along with a range of electric small commercial vehicles.