Tata Motors will supply 80 electric buses to the West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC). The company has already supplied 20 ultra electric 9/9m AC e-buses, with remaining 20 9/9m AC e-buses scheduled to be delivered by March 31, 2019. The company will also be supplying 40 9/12m AC e-buses to WBTC in a phased manner. Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee flagged off the buses with dignitaries from WBTC and Tata Motors. The new buses will begin their inaugural journey from Nabanna, Howrah.
Speaking on the occasion, Rohit Srivastava, Product Line Head, Passenger Commercial Vehicles, Tata Motors said, “With growing environmental concerns, electric bus is definitely a symbol of future mobility. Tata Motors has always been at the forefront of the e-mobility evolution and this order is a testament of our best-in-class solution tailored for the bus segment in India. The order is part of the 255 e-buses to be supplied to six STUs in the country, of which WBTC is one. Our in-depth understanding of sustainable public transport for different markets and customers is what differentiates us from our competitors. 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.”
Manufactured at Tata Motors’ Dharwad plant, the ultra electric buses will have a traveling range of up to 150 kilometers on a single charge. The company has installed charging stations at Nonapukur, Kasba, Newtown and Belghoria. Furthermore, intermediate charging terminals powered with fast charging are mounted at Howrah and Santragachi. The indigenously developed e-buses offer superior design and best-in-class features. The Li-ion batteries have been placed on the rooftop to prevent breakdown due to waterlogging. The batteries are liquid cooled to maintain the temperature within an optimum range and ensure longer life along with better performance in tropical conditions.
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 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 new brand identity that includes stylised ultra headlamps and streamlined looks. The vehicle architecture ensures very low energy consumption and low TCO (total cost of operation) apart from being a zero emission environment-friendly bus.”
The buses, powered by an integrated electric motor generator are built on existing proven platforms of Starbus and Ultra. With a max power of 245KW and continuous power of 145KW, the buses have a seating capacity of 31 + 1D seats. The buses will help in zero tailpipe emissions, 50 per cent lower fuel costs, 20 per cent better energy consumption and lower maintenance downtime as compared to diesel buses. The buses are air-conditioned, have modern interiors and comfortable seats for 31 passengers. As an industry first, there will be air suspension for both front and rear axles to make travel more comfortable for the commuters. Integrated electric motor generator with a peak power of 333HP can deliver 197HP continuously, ensuring effortless driving in congested roads and frequent start stops needing no shifting of gears.
Narayan Swaroop Nigam, Managing Director, West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) expressed, “As one of the most densely populated cities in the country, Kolkata is a challenge for us. However with our strong commitment to transform Kolkata as one of the smartest cities in the world, public transport has always been a key focus area of our government and today is a very significant day for the people of Kolkata. The state-of-the-art Ultra 9m AC electric buses by Tata Motors is a big step towards achieving better public transport, with a clear emphasis on providing sustainable, affordable and safe mobility solutions for the masses. These e-buses will soon ply on the roads of West Bengal, from Howrah to Jadavpur, Garia to Airport, Behala to Rajarhat and Esplanade to Santragachi. We look forward to strengthening this association with Tata Motors to bring smart city solutions for a greener and cleaner Kolkata.”