Recently, one of India’s biggest automotive brands, Tata Motors, supplied Non-AC buses to the Jammu & Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation. These Ultra Electric buses have a travelling range of up to 150 kilometres on a single charge and are equipped with best-in-class features. The first batch of 20 buses has already started travelling the difficult terrains between Jammu and Katra (Vaishno Devi), while the other 20, which were delivered recently will travel around the valleys of Srinagar. The buses were flagged off in the presence of Shri Satya Pal Malik, Honorable Governor of Jammu, and Shri Arvind Ganpat Sawant, Honorable Union Minister for Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises with other dignitaries from JKSRTC and Tata Motors at an event held in the city.
These buses were manufactured at Tata Motors’ Dharwad plant. These buses were built using various new techniques and methods to produce a much safer and reliable mode of transport. Talking about the bus, the lithium-ion batteries have been placed on the rooftop to prevent breakdown due to waterlogging, while these batteries are also cooled using a liquid-cooling system to maintain an optimum temperature for the battery to operate with maximum efficiency. This provides the bus with a longer life and a longer battery range even in tropical conditions. As an industry first, these buses are also fitted with an air suspension system for both front and rear axles to improve travel comfort for passengers. The integrated electric motor-generator produces a peak power of 333 HP and can deliver 197 HP continuously, ensuring effortless driving on congested roads.
These Electric buses have a seating capacity of 32 (including the driver), zero tailpipe emissions, 50% lower fuel costs, 20% better energy consumption and a lower maintenance downtime as compared to diesel buses. Apart from J&K, Tata has also tendered to supply 255 electric buses to six public transport undertakings including WBTC (West Bengal), LCTSL (Lucknow), AICTSL (Indore), ASTC (Guwahati) and JCTSL (Jaipur). In addition to this, the company is also working on developing its electric mini-bus segment in the near future.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Rohit Srivastava, Vice President and Product Line Head – Passenger Commercial Vehicles, Tata Motors, said, “With growing environmental concerns, electric bus will be extremely vital for mass transit because it is not only energy efficient but also reduces the overall cost per kms. Tata Motors has always been at the forefront of the E-mobility evolution and this order from JKSRTC is a testament of our excellent range of buses built for STUs in India. Our in-depth understanding of sustainable public transport for different markets and customers has helped us differentiate from our competitors. The electric buses will play an integral role in the reduction of pollution load in the congested areas of our metropolis. We are determined to develop alternate fuel technologies and create more energy-efficient vehicles thereby supporting the government’s efforts towards promoting electric vehicles in the country.”
Dr A.K. Jindal, Head Engineering (Electric & Defence), CVBU, Tata Motors said, “Tata Motors has been engaging in advanced engineering and development of electric traction system for Hybrid as well as Pure Electric vehicles for over a decade. The Ultra Electric Bus is a new modular platform, which has been developed in a very short lead-time of less than a year, leveraging the knowledge and experience we have gained and demonstrating our commitment to the Government of India’s National Electric Mobility Mission Plan for Public Transport. The architecture of the platform has been conceived and developed by the in-house engineering team of Tata Motors, meeting the requirement of various tenders floated by different state transport undertakings. The exterior has been designed with the new brand identity that includes stylized Ultra headlamps and streamlined looks. The vehicle architecture ensures very low energy consumption and lows TCO (total cost of operation) apart from being a Zero Emission environment-friendly bus.”
Commenting on the occasion, Mr Bilal Ahmed Bhatt, Managing director, JKSRTC said, “The need for a cleaner, smarter and safer mode of transportation is a prerequisite for Jammu and Kashmir, due to the alarming rise of air pollution in the city. Tata Motors has pioneered technological innovations in the bus segment with an in-depth understanding of different market conditions, making it a perfect fit for us. Tata Motors will be delivering 40 e-buses, which will soon ply on the roads of Jammu and Kashmir. We look forward to continuing this association.”