Auto Expo 2018 has just witnessed the unveiling of Ashok Leyland's electric bus that goes by the name Circuit-S. The bus is powered by Sun Mobility swappable smart battery. The new Ashok Leyland Circuit-S bus has a seating capacity from 25 to 30 people and run on batteries whose weight is almost 1/4th to that of the conventional lithium ion batteries. The company demonstrated the swapping of batteries in just under 4 minutes at its booth at Auto Expo 2018. The company says that this process is faster than the normal refuelling and swapping of drivers at a bus depot. For this reason, Ashok Leyland says that the technology addresses the issues of convenience and quick charging options that have been stumbling blocks for the acceptance of EVs for public transportation. When the battery is separated from the bus, the upfront cost of the bus is reduced significantly to be in sync with a traditional bus. The bus has been designed specifically keeping in mind Indian conditions. The electric bus showcased at Auto Expo 2018 has a light form of battery ensures that there is more space inside the bus to accommodate more occupants.
Sun mobility plans to set up a network of quick interchange stations that are quite easy to install. Such stations will ensure quick refueling of buses to reduce downtime. The stations will be designed keeping Indian conditions in mind and hence, the optimal use of real estate space for a range of vehicles to be swapped has been ensured. Furthermore, the company has revealed at Auto Expo 2018 that the smart network helps to keep a constant check on the station operations, battery vitals and also enables the management of fleet.
Speaking on the occasion at Auto Expo 2018, Vinod K Dasari, Managing Director, Ashok Leyland said, “Our vision is to transform public transportation by designing, developing and marketing a breakthrough India specific solution that makes our city buses emission-free, cost-effective and scalable. We have been able to bring this unique, world class solution to market within seven months of partnership with Sun mobility. The idea has the power to change the way our public transport system works. We see this home grown, world-class technology as the best solution for our Transport authorities.”
“The Circuit-S bus will cost lesser, would require minimal maintenance owing to lesser moving parts, will be lighter owing to smaller battery pack and most importantly, it will have zero tail pipe emissions. We certainly see this technology solution as the biggest enabler for our STUs and the biggest contributor to our nation's mobility vision of becoming 100% electric", he added.