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Automotive Product Finder Magazine | VECV to deploy 3 more E-buses to WBHIDCO in Kolkata
VECV to deploy 3 more E-buses to WBHIDCO in Kolkata
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On successful completion of a year with West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (WBHIDCO), the company will repeat the order of Eicher Skyline Pro E-Buses and will eyes market for its CNG buses in West and South.
VE Commercial Vehicles Limited, a JV of Volvo Group and Eicher Motors Limited plans to deploy three more E-buses to WBHIDCO, on having completed a year of a successful run in Kolkata.
Three Eicher Skyline Pro E-buses were deployed last year with West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (WBHIDCO) has served over 1.6 lakh kilometers carrying 1.3 lakh passengers till date.
These three buses operating with WBHIDCO, deployed in May 2018 were operational throughout the week, covering 140 km per day and delivering 98 per cent uptime. The E-busses ply within the New Town Area to New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) bus terminus. KPIT, the service provider has installed charging stations and a workshop at NKDA and Shapoorji Bus Depot.
The operating model for electric vehicles is still evolving. Electric buses are cheaper to operate in terms of fuel consumption (electricity) and have low maintenance cost due to less number of moving parts. However, the initial acquisition cost of the bus and the charging infrastructure need to be built into the operating model to ensure viability.
“Under the FAME-II scheme of the government, a Gross-Cost-Contract (GCC) model is deployed. Also known as the OPEX Model, this involves the bids to be submitted for cost per kilometre of operation by interested bidders, with the tender being awarded to the most competitive bid. The GCC model combines the capital and operational expenses. Recently, the Government has reduced the GST for electric vehicles from 12 to 5 per cent, further reducing the cost component. This comes as a great push from the Central Government towards faster adoption of electric vehicles,” says B Srinivas, Senior Vice President- Sales and Marketing(Buses), VE Commercial Vehicles.
The comapny has bagged another order to be delivered to one of the well-known State Transport Undertakings (STU), this year. The company is also actively participating in tenders floated by STU and other government agencies Pan India. Srinivas elaborates, “The country is at the cusp of a new revolution in transportation and is moving swiftly towards electromobility. Our deployment for public transport at Kolkata and its successful journey is a testimony of our strong resolve towards environment-friendly mobility solutions. We plan to deploy another repeat order of 3 Nos. of Skyline Pro E buses with WBHIDCO in Kolkata in 2019.”
The shift to electric vehicle technology will open many avenues for the economy. The new developments with the second phase of the FAME Scheme are further incentivising the move towards Electromobility, with a view towards achieving the country’s 2030 EV Vision.
Eicher is also expanding its Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) bus portfolio which comprises about 7-8 per cent of company’s total bus sales currently. Last year, the company sold a total of 10,750 units.
Srinivas explains, “We plan to expand our CNG footprint as the new arterial routes like Delhi-Chandigarh, Delhi-Jaipur and Delhi-Lucknow are proposed to support CNG. We have now targeted states like Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka for the expansion of our CNG portfolio where the gas pipeline infrastructure is picking up at a fast rate.”
VECV is in operation since July 2008, the company includes the complete range of Eicher branded trucks and buses, VE Powertrain, Eicher’s components businesses as well as the sales and distribution business of Volvo trucks within India.
West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation
Eicher Skyline Pro E Buses
Volvo Group And Eicher Motors Limited
Compressed Natural Gas
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