Volvo Buses India Private Ltd (VBIPL), a subsidiary of Swedish bus maker Volvo Bus Corporation, is set to launch Volvo 8400 low-floor CNG city bus in India during July-August this year. The trials of CNG bus are presently going on in Delhi and Mumbai.
The company would start production of these buses at its facility at Hoskote near Bangalore and they will be for commercial launch during the third quarter of 2012, a top company executive said.
“The trial runs of CNG bus have been going through in Delhi and Mumbai. We have received a positive response from our customers. Our buses are achieving 20-30 per cent better coverage compared to other buses. This product will be available for sale in the middle of this year in the Indian market. The next wave of growth would come from the CNG buses in India among other products,” Akash Passey, senior vice president, Volvo Bus Corporation, told Business Standard.
The Volvo CNG is built with in-line 6-cylinder, inter-cooled, natural gas engine with turbocharger has optimum power-to-weight ratio and generates 280hp. The bus meets Euro-IV emission standards. The engine has 8.3L displacement with maximum power of 209 kW and peak torque of 1151 Nm.
The CNG bus features in-built safety measures like active protection to cut off ignition system when refilling. The Volvo electrical system, connectors, wiring harnesses and multiplex including high standards of fire protection are built into the bus.
The Volvo B7RLE chassis has a modern multiplex electronic system that offers the possibility of detailed information about vital vehicle data, which in turn permits wider scope for vehicle diagnostics and monitoring of the status and condition of the bus The system also carries out automatic checks of basic functions such as coolant and oil, brake and turbo pressures at start-up, the company said. “We are yet to get any order from these two governments for the bus still and we hope to get it in the next two quarters,” he said.
Passey said the CNG bus would be available for sale from the third quarter. Government support and funding is expected for the bus.
Volvo Buses India, which recently completed 10 years of its presence in India, is looking at sales of $1 billion in the next three years from India. It will invest Rs 400 crore to expand its manufacturing capacity from 1,000 buses per annum to 2,500 buses per annum by 2014-15.
Passey said the company is also commercially launching four new buses during the middle of this year. They include Volvo 9100 or Asia Bus, which is designed and developed its R&D unit in India, Volvo 9400 PX, which has 14.5-metre long multi-axle body, Volvo 7400 XL, a multi-axle low-floor city bus and Volvo 7700 hybrid city bus. These products were recently showcased at the Delhi Auto Expo.