Tata Motors has launched 26 electric buses in collaboration with Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST), Mumbai, as a part of the Gross Cost Contract (GCC) electric bus service to BEST. There will be a total of 340 electric buses delivered over a period of time and according to a pre-set schedule. The buses have a seating capacity of 25 passengers and are named Tata Ultra 9/9. The buses will also be fully air-conditioned.
The launch event took place at Nariman Point, Mumbai and was overseen by the chief minister of Maharastra Hon’ble Mr Uddhav Thackeray and other officials from the Maharastra state government, BEST and Tata Motors. This is under the government of India’s FAME II (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles in India) initiative and Tata Motors will be taking care of its build, deployment, maintenance and operating the complete charging infrastructure. The bus depots located at Backbay, Worli, Malvani and Shivaji Nagar will also be taken care of by Tata Motors.
This comes under the ‘One Tata’ initiative, where the company will look into the charging facilities along with the supplies of spare parts and maintenance of the charging stations. These buses are an in-house product of Tata Motors and are developed using indigenous technology which will provide the best comfort and low-cost operation as claimed by Tata Motors.
The key features of the electric bus are ‘Lift Mechanism’ that extends an automated ramp for easy entry and exit of specially-abled passengers, wide interiors, utility provisions like charging ports, along with ergonomic seats, WiFi hotspot for on-the-go connectivity and wide entry and exit passages which add to the convenience of the passengers and the drivers. The buses are provided with some of the latest technologies used in the EV segment such as regenerative braking system, Intelligent Transport System (ITS) and much more. These buses have undergone various tests in states like Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Assam and Maharashtra to get a real-world analysis and experience.
Under the FAME I initiative, Tata Motors had delivered about 215 electric buses in 5 cities, which received quite a positive response.