The Tamil Nadu government has expressed interest in purchasing low floor, air conditioned electric vehicle CIRCUIT provided by Hinduja Group flagship Ashok Leyland. "The Minister after inspecting he bus yesterday 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, Head-Global Bus, T Venkataraman said.
State Transport Minister M R Vijayabhaskar stood witness to the trial run of the electric vehicle. He was accompanied by department's principal secretary PWC Davidar, officials of Ashok Leyland and Metropolitan Transport Corporation.
"The vehicle performed well during the trial run. The government will take up initiatives to introduce electric bus service permanently" the Minister had said.
The electric vehicle was introduced in October in 2016 and the company had been in talks with various state governments to employ the buses in providing a transport service. "We are talking with various governments right now. That discussions are on. The vehicle is now available for commercial launch.", Ashok Leyland head told PTI.
Stating that the company can manufacture the vehicles at any of Ashok Leyland's manufacturing facilities, he said depending upon customer requirements it will be produced. "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 upto 120 km on a single charge under standard test conditions.