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Olectra C9 – long distance 45 seater intercity electric bus for India

Written by Nizam Shaikh

Hyderabad based Olectra Greentech LTD along with its technology partner BYD auto, a Chinese vehicle manufacturer showcased their Olectra C9 fully electric bus at the Auto Expo 2020 in Delhi, India held between 6th and 9th February. Along with the C9, the company at their pavilion also showcased the K6 and the K9 electric busses. The Olectra busses are Made In India by Olectra Greentech along with their technology partner BYD and enjoys the benefits under the Government of India’s FAME1 and FAME2 schemes that encourage environmentally-friendly mobility solutions in our country.

The outside appearance of the Olectra C9 is similar to a conventional diesel-burning coach and only subtle features such as a closed front design and the virtually silent electric powertrain are some of the distinguishing factors. On the front, the C9 has a large glass windshield, piano black accents on the front fascia, projector headlights, marker lights on the ORVMs etc. The C9 electric bus also features 22.5-inch alloy wheels, orange marker lights and safety reflectors, large glass windows, body graphics and silver cladding on the wheel arches. The rear comes with a vertical combination tail light, rearview camera, high mounted stoplights, a tailgate and safety reflectors. 

The Olectra C9 is 12,000mm (12-metres) in length and can accommodate 45-49 seated passengers and has 5-cubic metres of storage space for their luggage. The Olectra C9 is powered by two 180 kW electric motors that can generate 3000 Nm of torque. The 360 kW electric motors are coupled to an advanced Lithium-Ion-Phosphate battery that can provide a range of around 300 km on a single charge and has the capability to recharge in 2-3 hours using a fast-charging system.

The brand positions the C9 as a long-distance Intercity Electric Bus and the Olectra C9 showcased featured a 2×2 seating configuration that had reclining seats with calf support, individual air-con vents adjustable via its louvres, personal LED reading lights, USB charging ports, common Television for entertainment and WiFi. 

The driver gets a cockpit styled dashboard with the switchboard and controls oriented towards the driver, a touchscreen control panel where the driver can monitor the feed from multiple cameras mounted around the bus, a standalone LCD backlit panel for tyre pressure information, various switches such as for the power doors, push-button drive selector, analogue-digital instruments cluster with analogue tachometer and speedometer and a digital multi-information display in between. Even though the bus is pure electric we really cannot comprehend why there is a rev counter on the driver’s display. 

In terms of safety, the Olectra C9 comes with a European standard and TUV certified Fire Detection and Suppression System (FDSS), Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) Driver Fatigue Alarm, windshield defroster and ITS as per Indian regulations. The bus also offers Panic Alarm System, Emergency Lighting System and Emergency Window Hammers.