Tata Motors has supplied 40 Ultra electric buses to the Jammu & Kashmir State Transport Corporation (JKSRTC). The 9-metre-long, 900mm floor height, non-AC buses are operational in the state.
The buses were flagged off by the governor of Jammu, Satya Pal Malik, in the presence of Arvind Ganpat Sawant, Union Minister for Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises with other dignitaries from JKSRTC and Tata Motors. Some of these buses are plying on the difficult terrain on the Jammu to Katra (Vaishno Devi) route and these electric buses will also operate in the Srinagar valley.
Tata Motors says 20 buses in Jammu were commissioned earlier this year and 20 more buses were flagged off at an event held recently.
Commenting on the occasion, Rohit Srivastava, vice-president and product line head – Passenger Commercial Vehicles, Tata Motors, said, “With growing environmental concerns, electric buses will be extremely vital for mass transit because they are not only energy efficient but also reduce overall cost per kilometres. 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 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.”
Manufactured at Tata Motors' Dharwad plant, the Ultra electric bus has a range of up to 150km on a single charge. The indigenously designed bus has its lithium-ion batteries placed on the rooftop to prevent breakdown due to water-logging. 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 EVs 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 Tata Motors' in-house engineering team, meeting the requirement of various tenders floated by different state transport undertakings. The exterior has been designed with new brand identity that includes stylized 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 Ultra e-bus is powered by an integrated electric motor generator 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. Tata Motors says the buses will help reduce fuel cost by 50 percent and 20 percent better energy consumption and lower maintenance downtime as compared to diesel buses. 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.
Tata Motors' says the critical electrical traction components have been sourced from international suppliers in USA, Germany and China. The buses have been tested and validated by Tata Motors across states including Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Assam and Maharashtra to establish performance in diverse terrains. The company has tenders to supply 255 electric buses to six public transport undertakings including WBTC (West Bengal), LCTSL (Lucknow), AICTSL (Indore), ASTC (Guwahati), JKSRTC (Jammu) and JCTSL (Jaipur). In addition to this, the company is also working on developing its electric mini-bus segment in the near future.