India’s commercial vehicle industry is witnessing a changing regulatory landscape and with emphasis on cutting fuel emissions and saving costs, manufacturers are turning towards hybrid and electric technologies to keep up.
The Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of hybrid and Electric vehicles (FAME) initiative announced by the government in April this year is now showing some results as more and more manufacturers ready their EV portfolio to take advantage from the subsidies on offer.
In this growing list of adopters of electric mobility is the country’s second largest commercial vehicle manufacturer Ashok Leyland, which is planning to roll out pure electric buses for the Indian market soon.
Ashok Leyland’s British subsidiary Optare is among the leading manufacturers of electric buses and has three electric bus platforms on offer globally. Ashok Leyland could bring buses based on these Solo, Versa and the MetroCity platforms in India. With an emphasis on zero emissions, these buses are powered by an all-electric motor and are capable of covering an average of 90 miles (around 145km) in one charge.
AMT to feature on more products
The rising popularity of automated manual transmissions (AMT) is not just limited to the passenger vehicle industry and commercial vehicle manufacturers are also betting big on the technology for their products.
Ashok Leyland introduced its own AMT, labeled the LEYMATIC, developed under its partnership with Wabco and is now planning to incorporate it on more platforms.
“We have AMT available on the Boss platform, the Janbus and also on the airport coaches. We are looking at expanding it to more products as market demand picks up. Right now we do not see it much in trucks but in buses we definitely see a lot of potential,” says Saravanan.
AMT on buses not only reduces driver fatigue but also offers enhanced fuel efficiency and engine performance, without a steep rise in costs.