Ashok Leyland says TN wants to purchase ‘Circuit’, its low floor electric buses
Tamil Nadu government has shown interest to purchase Ashok Leyland's low floor, air-conditioned electric bus 'Circuit', a top official said on Tuesday .
"The minister after inspecting the bus yesterday (on Monday) said he was interested in low floor, air conditioned bus. We will be showcasing an electric vehicle with battery swap technology in the coming days", Ashok Leyland's global bus head T Venkataraman said.
Tamil Nadu transport minister MR Vijayabhaskar conducted the trial run of the electric vehicle, in presence of the department's principal secretary PWC Davidar, officials of Metropolitan Transport Corporation and the Hinduja Group-owned Ashok Leyland.
"The vehicle performed well during the trial run. The government will take up initiatives to introduce electric bus service permanently" the minister said.
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Venkatraman said the company introduced the electric vehicle in October last year and has been talking to various governments for providing the service.
"We are talking with various governments right now. That discussions are on. The vehicle is now available for commercial launch.", he told PTI.
He said the company can manufacture the vehicles at any of Ashok Leyland's manufacturing facilities depending upon customer requirements.
"Right now, we are producing from Viralimalai (Tamil Nadu) and Alwar in Rajasthan. Depending upon customer's requirement we can produce them at our factories", he said.
Asked on the company's overseas operations in electric vehicle business, he said Ashok Leyland already operates such buses in London under "Optare" brand.
"Some countries may be interested in electric vehicles that support quick charge. Some countries in electric vehicles that can travel long distances in one recharge. Some countries may seek battery swap technology vehicles in which we just need to replace the discharged battery with a new battery," he said.
The buses can be produced on multiple platforms depending upon the customer's requirement, he said.
Ashok Leyland showcased the electric vehicle Circuit in October 2016. The buses equipped with fire detection and suppression system can travel up to 120 kilometres on a single charge under standard test conditions.