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Nov 11, 2017 09:27 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Chinese bus maker edges out Tata Motors & Ashok Leyland, wins plum EV contracts

BYD Auto will supply 25 fully built electric buses to Himachal Road Transport Corporation as well as six buses to the state-owned transport service BEST in Mumbai.

Swaraj Baggonkar @swarajsb
 
 
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A Chinese bus making company walked away winning two prized contracts of supplying fully electric buses in two different states where Indian companies like Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland had keenly bid.

BYD Auto Industry, headquartered in Shaanxi, China will supply 25 fully built electric buses to Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) as well as six buses to the state-owned transport service BEST in Mumbai.

These eBuzz K7 buses, which cost Rs 2 crore each, are 9 meters long and can seat up to 25 passengers. Their Lithium-ion phosphate-run batteries have a range of 144 miles (230 kms) on a single charge and a top-speed of nearly 90 kms per hour, as per figures announced by the company.

With zero tail-pipe emissions these BYD buses will run on routes that are 13,000 feet above sea level coupled with steep gradients. The buses have been certified by the Automotive Research Association of India, the apex homologation-providing body. The

Anand Swaroop, Chief Operating Officer Goldstone Infratech, said, “BYD present are globally in USA, Europe, Australia, Far East. They have more than 30,000 buses running globally. These buses are manufactured in India at Hyderabad and Bangalore.”

Goldtsone Infratech's Electric Bus running under Himachal Roadways Transport Corporation (2)

Market leaders in buses Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland along with Mahindra & Mahindra had made independent bids for the prestigious HRTC contract. It was the country’s first large electric bus supply order where companies tried to demonstrate technological capabilities.

Tata Motors, which is believed to have made bids for the BEST contract as well, had a few electric buses running on a test basis on the ecologically fragile Manali-Rohtang route in Himachal Pradesh.

Secunderabad-based, Goldstone Infratech, a leading manufacturer of rubber polymer composite insulators, has partnered BYD to manufacture these buses in India. Deliveries to HRTC started in August this year.

“We have not heard anything from the HP government since the past five months”, a senior Tata Motors official said while talking to Moneycontrol.

In April this year a 9-meter bus from Tata Motors, with a seating capacity of 31, was piloted on the Parwanoo-Kalka route with the round-trip distance of 160km with no charging en-route. The state government decided to increase the bus order to 75 buses from the initial 25.

BYD-Goldstone is bidding for similar contracts in Chandigarh while testing in going on in Bengaluru, Pune and Delhi. Indian companies are making a bid for contracts in the same markets.
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