JBM Auto Ltd has announced its joint venture (JV) with Solaris Bus and Coach to manufacture India’s first 100 % electric buses ECOLIFE in India. The JBM Solaris JV company will invest Rs 300 crore towards engineering, design and development, manufacturing, supply chain development, among other focus areas in this electric mobility project. ECOLIFE was recently unveiled as India’s first full-electric bus at the Auto Expo 2016, with local production expected to begin in the fourth quarter of FY2016-17 at Kose, Uttar Pradesh.
JBM said this JV aims at introducing globally-proven European technology for electric vehicles, which is sustainable and affordable, for the first time in India. The key focus will be towards locally developing sources for all key aggregates, systems and components catering to both domestic and global requirements. Solaris is bringing its domain strength in electric buses into this JV, while JBM Auto will provide its in-house engineering and design expertise, market know-how, manufacturing facilities and infrastructure.
Nishant Arya, Executive Director, JBM Group, said the company’s association with Solaris Bus comes just in time towards developing green solutions that will transform the public transportation domain in India. JBM's expertise in design and development coupled with Solaris’ experience in green mass transportation solutions will result in developing products that are not only green but also convenient, safe and affordable, he added. Arya noted that this JV perfectly aligns with the Government’s vision to make India a 100 % electric vehicle nation by 2030.
Solaris has supplied mass transportation solutions to over 30 countries around the world and is excited to partner with JBM Group, noted Dr Andreas Strecker, CEO, Solaris Bus & Coach S.A. He said this JV is a very important step for Solaris Bus and will ensure introduction of its proven technology in electric vehicles. JBM and Solaris together are set to revolutionise public transportation in India with ECOLIFE, using globally proven and affordable technology, added Dr Strecker.
ECOLIFE is powered by fast-charging lithium batteries, and can run up to 200 km a day for city bus operation, with the option of running on plug-in charging. The electric bus technology is adaptable to the city bus operation depending on demographic and geographic conditions, the company noted. It has a corrosion-resistant monocoque structure, making it stronger with longer lifespan than competitive products. Additionally, it features cantilever seats for extra leg room and increased storage space underneath for belongings.