Electric and hybrid for Indian commercial vehicle industry

Indian commercial vehicle industry to make inroads in electric and hybrid

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2010 onward, 50 alternative-fuel trucks have operated in Stockholm in one of the largest trials of renewable fuels for trucks. Clean Truck project is managed by City of Stockholm, in cooperation with fuel distributors and transport companies. Trucks under observation operated on dual fuel (methane/diesel), hybrid electric-diesel, and bioethanol fuel ED95.

Indian commercial vehicle industry
Indian commercial vehicle industry sees renewed support from Indian government

Evaluations point to the Scania bioethanol trucks emerging a clear winner with about 70 pct CO2 reduction. Reduction was at 90 pct when forestry waste was used to produce ED95 initially. Scania bioethanol trucks are operated by Kyl- och Frysexpressen transport company for fresh produce deliveries to food retailers. Managing Director Robert Barkensjo says having operated ED95 trucks for a few years, they firmly hold ground as best alternative fuel available of current available options, leaving no room to look for other solutions.

He adds, there is no difference between operating and driving a bioethanol compared with a diesel truck. Since nothing changes in the operation front, using them is an easy option. Scania offers a wide range of heavy vehicles for renewable fuels (biogas, bioethanol and biodiesel). ED95 is ethanol-based for adapted diesel engines with 95 pct pure ethanol with the addition of ignition improver, lubricant and corrosion protection. In 2014, Scania Commercial Vehicles India introduced the first ethanol-fuelled city bus here.

Update: Scania bagged wins in two competitive 2015 Apollo CV Awards categories. Scania Green Bus and Scania R 500 won Green Product of the Year, and Puller of the Year. Sivakumar, Director – Sales, Scania India and Krister Thulin, Director – Presales and Marketing, Scania India accepted the awards on behalf of Scania India team.

Anders Grundstromer, Managing Director, Scania India and Senior Vice President, Scania Group said the company’s ethanol powered Green Bus was launched for the first time in Indian Market last year for sustainable transportation solutions, while also redefining Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in India. Scania R 500 6×4 with a V8 engine was recognised for its heavy performance, easy driveability, and total operating economy. Scania emerged winner in the Apollo CV Awards for a third consecutive time. Green Product of the Year is a new category listed for the 2015 session and considers CV’s running on alternate fuels. Scania’s ethanol operated vehicle experience spans over 20 years, having metw ith success in multiple overseas markets. Scania Green Bus has been received well by local public in Nagpur.

Commercial vehicle industry in India and its recurrence patterns continues to bring forth challenges to market players. At the Commercial Vehicles Conclave 2015 presented by Tata motors and powered by Scania, Anant Geete, Union Minister, Heavy Industries and Public Sector Enterprises, said the country has tremendous potential in the CV segment, which can be harnessed by working in union with the manufacturers. He assured them all support possible from the government, and welcomed commercial vehicle sector players to present proposals in regard to help they are seeking from the government. The sector has been quite neglected, and the government wants to support the commercial vehicle industry. Indian government is keen on a green direction, and has an approval of Rs 795 crore for electric and hybrid vehicles. In time, Rs 14,000 crore will be spent on alternate fuel vehicles.

Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister, Road Transport, Highway and Shipping addressed the conclave through a video to bring to focus new government policies and schemes. Indian government plans to open nearly 10,000 truck driving schools across. Developing water transport along with surface transport will be a focus area. Shortage of truck drivers is a concern in the commercial vehicle industry. The ministry is trying to introduce laws to extend insurance and Provident Fund benefits to drivers, as well as, fix working hours.

R Ramakrishnan, Senior VP, Commercial Vehicles, Tata Motors says India CV market for medium and heavy trucks increased by 15+ pct from 2007 to 2010. Light commercial vehicles (LCV) was up by 57 pct. Demand for buses has also soared as a popular means of transportation in large inner cities. Construction sector continue to experience growth, and road network is being improved, and together they foster demand for commercial vehicles, especially heavy trucks. Indian government has introduced a state program to upgrade and build roads, and strengthen harbour connections. National highways comprise only about 2 pct of the road network but carry 40 pct of traffic. Connecting more rural areas to the road network, will spur commercial vehicle industry outside large metropolitan areas.

VG Ramakrishna, Managing Director, South Asia, Frost and Sullivan said domestic demand in commercial vehicle industry will cross the 10 lakh units mark by 2017. Lower crude oil prices is helps commercial vehicle industry to grow. Revival of mining and infrastructure sectors is expected to trigger double digit growth in the Tipper segment. With agricultural output foreseen as robust in the next FY, demand for LCV’s is expected to grow. Medium and heavy commercial vehicles are expected to grow at 20 pct in short to medium term, and lower diesel price is has boosted profitability of transporters. Goods and Service Tax (GST) implementation can boost the Indian commercial vehicle industry.