In recently concluded AutoExpo 2020, Tata Motors showcased its range of new electric commercial vehicles (CVs) with Ultra T.7 EV for intra-city goods transporation and Starbus EV for city bus commute. Let’s take a closer look at the two.
Electric Truck – Ultra T.7 EV
After mass public transport, the next segment suitable for electrification is small and light commercial vehicles. At AutoExpo 2020, Tata Motors introduced India’s first electric CV in the ILCV (Intermediate and Light Commercial Vehicle) category – Ultra T.7 Electric Truck for urban transportation needs.
Led by a continuous improvement in battery & motor technology and falling battery prices, the economics of operating cargo operations on electric vehicles is becoming favourable. Better business viability combined with corporate commitment to sustainability will drive the companies to go electric for their cargo needs. Case in point, IKEA has been doing 20% of its customer deliveries in Hyderabad via EVs (including retrofitted TATA ACE and GMW 3 wheelers).
Potential application area for Ultra T.7 is the evolving hub & spoke model of goods distribution, e.g. e-Commerce deliveries from warehouses to inside the cities and last mile distribution of products to shops.
In terms of specifications, Ultra T.7 comes with a 62.5 kWh battery and can deliver a range of more than 100 kms per charge. It has an all-electric drivetrain with automatic transmission, claims a max speed of 80 km/h, supports fast charging and can charged 0-100% in approx 2 hours. Peak motor output and torque figures are 220 kW and 2800 Nm respectively.
The truck on display at the Auto Expo 2020 was the Tata Ultra T.7 Electric. However, the gross vehicle weight (GVW) can be increased to 8,750 kg from 7,490 kg on the same platform and subsequently the payload capacity will also increase from 3,692 kg to 4,935 kg.
Electric Bus – STARBUS EV
Indian Electric bus market is on the rise and is expected to reach 7,187 units by 2025, registering a CAGR of 53.0% during the forecast period, according to a report by PS Market Research. Tata Motors has so far supplied close to 300 buses via different tenders and is among the key players in the Indian market that is thronged by domestic and international players such as Ashok Leyland, Olectra Greentech, JBM Auto, Solaris Bus & Coach SA, BYD Auto, Zhongtong Auto, Optare PLC, Deccan Auto, and Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles.
TATA 4/12 Low Entry Electric bus has a fully electric drive train and comes with utility provisions like charging ports and Wi-Fi hotspot for on-the-go connectivity. The bus has a low floor height of 400mm for easy ingress and egress. Supports fast charging (2-3 hours), has an integrated motor generator with a peak output of 245 kW, a top speed of 70-75 km/h, and a range of more than 200 km. The Lithium-ion battery pack has a capacity of nearly 250 kWH and can be scaled as per range requirements.