CHENNAI: Ashok Leyland Ltd's zero emission and ethanol-powered CV and bus models, currently under development, will start going through their validation tests by the end of next month, according to the commercial vehicle giant's senior research and development officials.
Speaking at an event where three zero emission vehicles and one prototype and one ethanol-powered prototype were showcased, ALL's senior vice president of product development N Saravanan said that some of the prototypes would be going through the validation phase of development soon.
“These models have been taken through the design and simulation phases already. Now, in a month's time, some of them would begin the validation phase of development,” he said.
The prototypes being showcased were an electric 10 ton Boss truck, an electric 10 ton Midi Bus, an electric DOST LCV and an ethanol-powered version of DOST.
With commercialisation the next step once validation is complete, Saravanan also said that the models could be commercialised within two years, if a viable market is found.
“They will take about 2 years for us to be ready to commercialise them," he said but added that there was no viable market yet for most of these models. “If a viable market is shown, the product can be fully complete within two years. The supply chain for electric buses is also not yet ready in India,” he said.
But the company is positive about a market being expedited for alternative fuel run vehicles, especially in the public transportation sector. Prasad Gade, GM - Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Development, said that there were already ‘green shoots’ as far as policies to expedite adoption of alternative fuel powered vehicles were concerned.
“Within a month's time, Rs 1,000 crore out of the Rs 14,000 crore dedicated for the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan is to be released. And the government has taken a stand on focusing on electrifying public transportation, which is a good sign for these products,” he said.
Saravanan also said that the budget allocation for R&D as a percentage of ALL's revenue had gone down slightly from the normal 1.5-2 per cent last year but would come back to normal this year.
ALL’s technical centre, where all prototypes are currently being developed, has over 1,000 personnel working in its campus and focuses on R&D in safety, alternative fuels, emissions and fuel efficiency.