Remember the NGT fiasco that happened last year about the complete ban of activities and control on running of diesel vehicles on the Manali-Rohtang pass route? Well, it seems things are definitely moving on in the right direction. While CNG station at Manali will take some while, the government had also proposed running of electric buses on this route. And the first trial starts this month!
Length: 26 feet / 8 mtrs
Seating Capacity: 23
Standing Capacity: 10-15
Charging time: 2 hours
BYD is one of the biggest electric bus manufacturers in Asia. They are based out of China and are successfully running buses in 40 countries. BYD had flown in the K7 or the Mid-E 26 feet long electric bus to India. Reports suggest that the first run will happen this month itself. When the bus reaches the top of the Rohtang pass, at 13000 feet, it will be one of the highest places on earth where an electric bus has successfully been driven upto. The 51km journey will take commuters from Manali (6500 feet) to Rohtang Pass (13000 feet). Thankfully almost 95% of the route is tarmac now.
The K7 features an iron-phosphate battery with a 182.5 kWh battery capacity, an AC synchronous motor, and a ZF low-floor axle/BYD in-wheel traction motor axle chassis. Various reports on the internet suggest that the driving range is anywhere between 250 – 280km which is fantastic. We agree a lot of energy will be used while driving up to the pass, on the way, braking or regeneration of energy will take place which can be used to charge the batteries to an extent.
The 8 meter long / 26 feet long bus can seat upto 23 passengers. The battery packs are placed on the roof and floor, making it quite spacious inside. It also features in-wheel motors, which saves a lot in terms of maintenance costs, as well as one-button-start system and continuously variable transmission. Stay tuned for more!