Hinduja Motors, which holds majority stake in Optare Plc, UK, electric bus manufacturer, plans to launch Optare range of electric and hybrid busses in India. Following the Prime Minister’s Make in India drive, manufacturing of these green busses will start from next year. The buses will be manufactured at the Alwar and Tiruchi plants.
Vinod Dasari, MD Ashok Leyland pointed to plans of exporting the busses from India. Though the batteries for these would be imported, the company plans to make investments in the toolings for the bus. The hybrid and electric varieties could cost between Rs 2 crore and Rs 3 crore and government support would be necessary to popularise the green mode of transport.
The electric bus can run for 200-300 km per charge depending on battery size. Vince Cable, British Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, visiting Ashok Leyland’s headquarters in Chennai, said that UK is keen on developing collaboration between UK and India in industry and education. He mentioned that the British automobile industry is expanding and is interested to create collaboration with Indian companies. The UK government is looking at electric vehicles as increasingly important as it helps in reducing carbon emission.