Ashok Leyland, flagship of Hinduja Group, and ABB Power Products and Systems India have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the public e-mobility space to expand the eco-system for efficient and greener electric bus transportation systems in India.
As per the agreement, Ashok Leyland will develop new electric buses using ABB's flash-charge technology, TOSA, which tops up the battery in just seconds while passengers get on and off the bus. "This avoids the need to take the vehicle out of service for recharging every few hours or having a replacement bus ready, thus minimising the size of the fleet while increasing passenger carrying capacity," ABB India said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.
The company said that Indian government is promoting the use of electric vehicles (EVs) and planning to reach 30 per cent penetration of EVs by 2030. However, the switch to electric is a big ask for operators. "Their primary challenge with battery-operated buses is to maximise passenger load carrying capacity and running time to make the whole operation economically viable as well as sustainable for the future."
To solve this problem, Ashok Leyland will develop and manufacture electric buses with ABB's TOSA technology along with operational support and service. TOSA is a flash-charging connection technology that lets cities reduce the environmental pollution of their transit systems without affecting passenger capacity or journey times.
"At selected passenger stops, its system connects the bus to the charging infrastructure, and in a mere 15 seconds the batteries are charged with a 600-kilowatt power boost," the company said. "An additional few minutes charge at the final terminal enables a full recharge without interrupting the bus schedule."
ABB claimed that TOSA fast-charging can save as much as 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide on a line covering 600,000 kilometres per year. It also offers operating cost savings of 30 per cent compared to an equivalent diesel-transit system.
Apart from TOSA, ABB will also provide its ABB Ability Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software solution for asset optimisation, as well as its ABB Ability Network Manager Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system to monitor and control the power network for charging stations and e-buses.
Commenting on the development, N Saravanan, Chief Technology Officer, Ashok Leyland, said, "Ashok Leyland has always been at the forefront of innovation and indigenous technology, providing class-leading vehicles that have met and exceeded customer expectations. In this journey, to stay competitive in our domestic and global markets, we are joining hands with ABB to use their world-renowned TOSA technology on our e-buses to take forward our vision of expanding in the EV space."
By Chitranjan Kumar