Ashok Leyland unveiled its first electric bus – Circuit-S – powered by SUN Mobility’s swappable Smart BatteryTM , at the Auto Expo 2018. The Circuit S is India’s first Swap Battery Bus, tailored specifically for the Indian driving conditions. It has a seating capacity ranging from 25 to 35 seats and runs on an easily swappable, smart batteries which are small and weigh 1/4th the weight of a regular ion-battery. Most importantly, Ashok Leyland and SUN Mobility showcased the refueling/swapping of the electric bus which took less than 4 minutes.
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“Our vision is to transform public transportation by designing, developing, and marketing a breakthrough, India-specific solution that makes our city buses emission-free, cost-effective and scalable,” said Mr. Vinod K. Dasari, Managing Director, Ashok Leyland.“We have been able to bring this unique, world-class solution to market within seven months of partnership with SUN Mobility. This idea has the power to change the way our public transport system works. The Circuit-S bus will cost lesser, would require minimal maintenance owing to lesser moving parts, will be lighter owing to smaller battery pack and most importantly, it will have zero tailpipe emissions,” he added.
Since the battery can be separated from the bus, which significantly reduces its cost. That said, it is expected to cost same as a traditional bus. Moreover, the light and compact form factor of the battery aide in more space for the passengers. The swappable technology is compatible with several bus platforms and works on the pay-per-use model of batter consumption, which further curbs the total cost of the vehicle operations. Ashok Leyland’s partner, SUN Mobility, plans to strengthen the Quick Intercharge StationsTM that are feasible to install and ensure quick refuelling of buses.