The Dharward plant of Tata Motors has bagged the National Energy Conservation Award 2015 in the automobile sector. The award was conferred upon Tata Motors by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). Perhaps the youngest among the various Tata Motors plants in India, the Dharwad plant is claimed to have achieved a 12 per cent reduction in energy consumption in FY2014-15 over FY 2013-14 by adopting various initiatives to reduce High Speed Diesel (HSD) and power consumption. Initiatives to reduce HSD include development of low temperature degreasing chemical for Aquence Chemical Coating (ACC) line, modification of ACC and Powder Chemical Coating (PCC) oven nozzles and modification of hot water circulation system in paint shop. In order to reduce power consumption, other initiatives included installation of a Variable Speed Drive (VSD) for blowers in BIW Shop, usage of portable compressors in paint shop during colour change, and relocation of chiller unit outside the paint shop.
Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles has introudced advanced telematics on its Eicher brand of trucks and buses. Called ‘Eicher Live’, the advanced telematics solution has been developed by keeping the end user in mind. Claimed to support profitable fleet management, Eicher Live is claimed to have been built on trucking intelligence that monitors vehicle movement, fuel consumption and maintenance needs. The system is available as a company installed feature in the Eicher Pro series range of trucks and buses – the flagship Pro 8000 series and the smart Pro 6000 series. Providing real time dashboard data analytics of the fleet with advanced features like Advance Breakdown Assistance, Dynamic Service Reminders and Pro-active Service, Eicher Live is made up of a hardware unit (Telematics Gateway), an intelligence vehicle electronic module, and a mobile sim card that connects to the Eicher Live hub.
In a bid to strengthen its presence in the cold chain logistics sector, Eicher Trucks and Buses has introduced a series of new reefer trucks in the Pro 1000 and Pro 6000 series category. The trucks include the Pro 1059XP reefer, Pro 1110XP reefer and Pro 6025 reefer. They come with an option of 14 ft., 20 ft. and 24 ft. reefer structure, and have a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of between seven tonnes and 25-tonnes. Claimed to offer optimal fuel efficiency, the reefer truck range is claimed to have been equipped with a new refrigeration unit, which operates in a temperature range of (-) 25 degree Celsius to (+) 25 degree Celsius under ambient conditions of 50 degree Celsius.
Scania Commercial Vehicles India unveiled its Bio-fuel powered flagship Citywide bus and the Premium Scania G310 truck at the Auto Expo 2016. Mikael Benje, Managing Director, Business Unit, Scania India said, “ Continuing our focus on sustainable transport solutions, we will increase the manufacturing of vehicles that can run on alternate fuel (biofuel) engines at our Narasupara plant in India” “We will continue to highlight the benefits of local waste, for local fuel, for local transport across India starting with the introduction of ethanol based green buses in India,” he concluded. Capabe of running on fossil fuels (diesel) as well as renewable fuels like bio-ethanol, bio-diesel and bio-methane, the Citywide bus is claimed to be India’s first bio-fuel powered commercial bus, and is compatible with all commercially available bio-fuels complying with BS1V, Euro 5, and Euro 6. Alongwith it, Scania also launched a high performance G310 haulage tractor for the India market. The G310 haulage truck, a new category for Scania is aimed at realising optimal Total Operating Economy (TOE). G310 offers key features like OptiCruise, a fully automated gear shifting system, and an active traction control that claims to provide all wheels with enough traction to keep the vehicle stable in case of a wheel slip. Apart from the two, Scania also showcased Scania R580 truck and the Metrolink 14.5 meter bus.
Taxi aggregator ‘ApnaCabs’ authorised by the government has come to launch its services in Mumbai. The approval from Maharashtra government has come under the ‘Call Taxi Scheme 2010’. Mumbaikars can avail of a kaali-peeli taxi or a cool cab by dialing on the hotline number or by downloading the ApnaCabs mobile application instead. Apart from every ApnaCab being tracked through Gps, a commuter of ApnaCab can also make use of a panic button for assistance in case of any untoward situation. With operations commencing in Mumbai, it is expected to soon enter the Delhi Market where 100 drivers approximately have been claimed to have signed up. 500 taxis additionally are expected to be added to the existing fleet of 1,600 kaali-peeli taxis and cool cabs.
Soon after the Chandigarh administration increased Value Added Tax (VAT) on fuel and automobiles, the battery-operated vehicles have been exempted from VAT in Chandigarh. Previously, the authorities had been charging VAT on battery-operated vehicles like on other vehicles at 13.20 per cent. The decision is claimed to boost people’s purchase of battery-operated vehicles over the diesel and petrol variants. Santosh Kumar, Director, Science and Technology wing, Chandigarh administration is known to have said that for a city like Chandigarh with a comparatively smaller jurisdiction, affordability of battery-operated vehicles wouldn’t be a deterrent, especially post the new exemption.
Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) is expected to launch its premium pickup range in January 2016 in a bid to consolidate its leadership in the Small Commercial Vehicle (SCV) space. The premium range has been named ‘Imperio’. Pravin Shah, President & Chief Executive (Automotive), M&M said Imperio would target the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and that it would come good on parameters like style, performance and driving comfort. “Conceptualised and developed in house by our engineers, at the Mahindra Research Valley at Chennai, Imperio will be manufactured at Mahindra’s manufacturing facility at the Chakan Plant in Pune.