Under terms of a new JV entered into by JBM Auto Limited and European bus makers, Solaris Bus and Coach S.A., INR 300 crores will be invested towards development of ECOLIFE electric buses. ECOLIFE, India’s 100% electric buses are set for production from Q4 of 2016-17 fiscal in Kosi, Uttar Pradesh, with sales from April 2017.
Solaris will be supplying sound knowledge and expertise in electric buses while JBM Auto will offer product development, engineering skills and will also be responsible for manufacturing facilities.
Investment of INR 300 crores will go towards research and development besides manufacture and operation of these new ECOLIFE electric buses. ECOLIFE electric buses were showcased at 2016 Auto Expo. They are Zero Emission Vehicles powered by a set of lithium batteries. These batteries are fast charging and they allow the bus to run on plug-in charging mode as well. ECOLIFE buses will be able to travel a distance of 200 kms on a single charge.
ECOLIFE buses will be offered in two sizes, 9 mtrs and 12 mtrs with respective wheelbase of 4,430 mm and 6,320 mm respectively. They will receive pantograph and plug-in charging systems and independent front suspension along with rigid rear suspension and electronic braking.
Interiors of ECOLIFE promise to be convenient and comfortable with wheelchair ramp, cantilever seating and passenger information system besides vehicle health monitoring system and emergency exit doors. Standard safety features such as ABS, EBD, all wheel disc brakes and will be positioned on corrosion resistant monocoque structure ensuring long life and lower maintenance costs. A saving of around 1150 equivalent tons of CO2 / 420,000 liters of diesel per bus is estimated over a 10 year period.