Tamil Nadu Government has shown interest to purchase low floor, air conditioned electric vehicle CIRCUIT provided by Hinduja Group flagship Ashok Leyland, a top official said today. "The Minister after inspecting the 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.
Yesterday, State Transport Minister M R Vijayabhaskar conducted the trial run of the electric vehicle, along with the 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.
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. Those discussions are on. The vehicle is now available for commercial launch." he 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 kilometrs on a single charge under standard test conditions.