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Volume 14 Issue 07 • April 2020

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Busworld Turkey 2020

VECV announces Eutech6

Truck apps proliferate n V-Trans looks at new growth avenues /commercialvehicle




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F “It is CVs that are proving their mettle once again in the fight to win over Novel Coronavirus�.

or the severe regulatory atmosphere and a dull economic environment, it is CVs that are proving their mettle once again in the fight to win over Novel Coronavirus. It is they that are ferrying essential services staff, medical equipment, patients and more, in a time when the whole country has come to a near halt. The lockdown shutting down plants big and small; shutting down shops big and small, and almost dismantling the supply chain, the challenges in front of the economy are only getting more intense. As a barometer of the economy, the CV industry is also staring at a future that could make it more challenging for it to survive. Growth may come later. With states closing their borders, SOS calls from stranded truckers is no longer a rare occurrence. Many have simply fled to their villages, leaving fleet utilisation dropping to its lowest. If the situation is looking worse than demonetisation, the effect of near collapse of public and private passenger transport is yet to be known. The dark clouds over the economy are growing. A recession that could follow the virus is the last occurrence that the economy could be looking for. To tide over the extraordinary situation the virus has brought upon the country, some very extraordinary and drastic steps will have to be taken. Until then, the regulatory atmosphere can take a break. Bhushan Mhapralkar b.mhapralkar@nextgenpublishing.net

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what's inside Cover story 20

VECV announces Eutech6 With Eutech6, VE Commercial Vehicles has added an edge to its BSVI strategy. 05 Straight Drive Bhushan Mhapralkar


BSVI Bajaj three-wheelers


Tata Motors’ Lucknow plant betters energy saving Covid-19 hits city and state transport operations FADA prayer answered?

10 Letters 12 CV News New ALL trucks hit the road n M&M local CV assembly in Kenya n

n n

We welcome feedback, bouquets and brickbats on how this magazine is shaping up. Write to us at cvonline@nextgenpublishing.net or visit us on www.commercialvehicle.in


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April 2020 n n

NTPC to supply electric buses VECV Bhopal plant on track

Truck apps proliferate


Truck apps have come to increase the efficiency and earning-ability of truckers with the help of IoT and AI.

Ikea on Wheels lectric three-wheelers from Lohia E n Kubota acquires 10 per cent stake in Escorts n NMC inducts 60 CNG buses n Auto companies allowed to defer earning announcements? n Production halt badly affecting Indian auto sector? n Maruti Suzuki MAIL n BHEL to supply electric buses n Maruti Suzuki expands CV network n Cargo movement impacted as truck drivers flee? n CNG stations remain open n IOC BSVI fuel supply n DICV looks at defence and off-highway n ALL lowers stake in HLFL n HPCL enters Bhutan n BOCI requests loan and tax holiday? n Sitharaman announces economic measures n


Cummins drives CV electrification The next-generation battery electric system from Cummins Inc. is adding to the ease of CV electrification.


Volvo lights Aiming at improving freight and warehouse efficiencies, Volvo trucks has been pursuing the ‘LIGHTS’ project with much interest.


Ikea on wheels concept in Mumbai has preceded its second store opening late summer this year at Navi Mumbai and utilities Tata trucks.

V-Trans looks at new growth avenues


Drawing from its legacy, V-Trans is looking at new avenues of growth.


Busworld Turkey 2020 The eighth edition of Busworld Turkey (2020) highlighted rising bus and coach electrification.

66 Matador Does the Trick

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Letters Commercial Vehicle Magazine

105-106, Trade World, B-Wing, 1st Floor, Kamala Mills Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel (W), Mumbai - 400013, India. Tel +91 22 43525252 Email us at cv@nextgenpublishing.net

CV’s in Auto Expo 2020


came across an article on CV’s in Auto Expo in the last issue. They provided a good insight into how CV makers will offer BSVI compliant vehicles. It was refreshing to see the BSVI CVs stand out at India’s biggest biennial expo. It was also interesting to read about electric vehicles at the expo. They provided a good idea about how the alternate fuel scene is going to shape up on the future. The electric CVs from Olectra and other CV makers made for an interesting need. To support such vehicles it is necessary to quickly develop the necessary infrastructure and find out environmentally friendly ways to generate electricity. It is not easy, but not tough either. A specific roadmap should help, and also the ability of the Government and EV CV manufacturers to work closely. A vision and direction is necessary as fuel cell tech is looking especially promising..   Chaitanya Makwana, Mumbai

Daimler’s BSVI strategy for India


he story on Daimler’ strategy for BSVI made for interesting reading. What made it even more interesting is their use of a different technology to do so in order to offer their customers an edge in a challenging business environment. While it would be worth waiting for the announcement regarding alternate fuel roadmap by the end of this year, it is also necessary to figure out the investment in BSVI technology that all the CV manufacturers have done. If this investment all put together will lead to the market picking up. If the sale of vehicles will grow at a good speed to justify the investment towards BSVI and other alternate fuel related developments? The answers to these questions look tough in an environment where existing operators are finding it tough to sustain and grow. 

Abhishek Ghosh, Bhubaneshwar

Editor Test Editor Web Editor Correspondent Head-Design & Production Art Director Asst. Art Director Image Desk Production Supervisor Publisher Chief Executive Officer General Manager North & East

Bhushan Mhapralkar Aspi Bhathena Ashish Bhatia Deepti Thore, Deven Lad Ravi Parmar Mangesh Sawant Ajit Manjrekar Dipak Gaykar Dinesh Bhajnik Marzban Jasoomani Hoshang S. Billimoria Ellora Dasgupta

General Manager South

Girish Shet

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Chanchal Arora

North Regional Marketing Manager Salma Jabbar (Chennai) Marketing Manager

Minocher Parakh (Mumbai)

Manager Circulation - North and East Kapil Kaushik Subscription Supervisor Sachin Kelkar Tel +91 22 43525220 Apple Newsstand & Magzter Queries help@magzter.com Zinio Subscriptions Queries http://in.zinio.com/help/index.jsp Territory Sales Incharge (SIP) Mr. Srinivas Gangula (Hyderabad) Cell +91 09000555756 Territory Sales Incharge (Circulation) Vidyasagar Gupta (Kolkata) Mob: 09804085683 Regional marketing offices Next Gen Publishing Pvt. Ltd. 105-106, Trade World, B-Wing, 1st Floor, Kamala Mills Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel (W), Mumbai - 400013, India Tel +91 22 43525252 26 B, First Floor, Okhla Industrial Estate, Okhla Phase III, New Delhi - 110020, India Tel +91 11 42346600/78 Fax +91 11 42346679 Unit No:509, 5th Floor, ‘B’ wing, Mittal Towers, MG Road, Bengaluru -560001, India Tel +91 080 66110116/17 Fax +91 80 41472574 Cenetoph Elite, No.5, Cenetoph 1st street, Teynampet, Chennai - 600018, India Tel +91 044 421-08-421/044 421-75-421 Devendra Mehta - Mob No.- 09714913234 Ahmedabad S.No.261/G.L.R.No.5, East Street,Camp Pune - 411001. Tel + 91 20 26830465 iews and opinions expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of Next V Gen Publishing Pvt. Ltd. Next Gen Publishing Pvt. Ltd. does not take responsibility for returning unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or other material. All material published in COMMERCIAL VEHICLE is copyright and no part of the magazine may be reproduced in part or full without the express prior written permission of the publisher Printed by Marzban Jasoomani Next Gen Publishing Pvt. Ltd., 105-106, Trade World, B-Wing, 1st Floor, Kamala Mills Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel (W), Mumbai - 400013. Published by Marzban Jasoomani on behalf of Next Gen Publishing Pvt. Ltd., 105-106, Trade World, B-Wing, 1st Floor, Kamala Mills Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel (W), Mumbai - 400013, Printed at Kala Jyothi Process Pvt. Ltd, 1-1-60/5 RTCX Roads, Hyderabad - 20. Published at Next Gen Publishing Pvt. Ltd., 105-106, Trade World, B-Wing, 1st Floor, Kamala Mills Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel (W), Mumbai - 400013. All readers are recommended to make their own independent enquiries before sending money, incurring expenses or entering into commitments in relation to any advertisement appearing in the publication. Commercial Vehicle does not vouch for any claims made by advertisers for their products and services. The editor, publisher, printer and employees of the publication shall not be held liable for any consequence in the events of such claims not being honoured by the advertisers. All disputes are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of competent courts and forums in Mumbai only. Editor Bhushan Mhapralkar

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News New ALL trucks hit the road A

shok Leyland’s new trucks built on the modular platform have hit the roads. The CV maker delivered their first batch with BSVI power plant at Bengaluru. While the power plant tech has been termed as i-Gen6 BSVI, the trucks are said to come in multiple axle configuration, loading spans, cabins, suspensions, and drivetrains. With stress on modularisation at the chassis level, which would mean the ready-fitment of different engines with their peripheral components like turbochargers, starters, alternators, intercoolers, SCR systems etc., the new modular platform from Ashok Leyland has been engineered to support trucks of diverse applications and with diverse duty cycles. Enabling easy customisation to better address the needs of the operators, the new modular platform promises better operational economics (lower TCO), improved safety and comfort, reliable aggregates and innovative features like i-alert fleet management system with remote diagnostics.


M&M local CV assembly in Kenya M

ahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has partnered with Simba Corporation of Kenya to locally assemble its pick-up trucks in Kenya. As part of its strategy to expand its global automotive footprint, the company will assemble the Scorpio single cab pick-up trucks at the facility. It will be customised to meet the local needs of the Kenyan market even as the facility provides significant employment generation. Supporting the Kenyan Government’s implementation

of the ‘Buy Kenya Build Kenya’ initiative, the local assembly operation of the Scorpio pick-up truck assembly is expected to provide M&M greater reach in the continent.

BSVI Bajaj three-whelers


ajaj Auto has launched 14 BSVI compliant three-wheeler models across its three sub-brands, RE, Maxima and Maxima Cargo. Its RE range will now feature fuel injection technology with a 236 cc engine and three fuel options including CNG, LPG and petrol. The Maxima brand has been reconfigured to possess the same engine to meet BSVI emission norms. Employing the same 470 cc engine, the diesel engine

Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in

models across RE and Maxima brands are now BSVI compliant with the aid of EGR and a catalytic converter. To support maximum uptime, the company has upgraded its three-wheeler support network by the inclusion of more number of free services.


Tata Motors’ Lucknow FADA prayer plant betters energy saving answered? T

he Lucknow plant of Tata Motors that makes CVs has set the course to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy status by 2030. Making continuous efforts to reduce energy consumption, the CV maker has achieved 38 per cent energy reduction over the last four years (from 406 kWh/equivalent vehicle in FY2015-16 to 250 kWh/ equivalent vehicle in FY2018-19). Having taken significant energy conservation measures that have led to the reduction in plant’s non-working day energy consumption by 57 per cent through continuous energy monitoring and analysis, the company has adopted the Energy Management System (EMS). Leveraging innovation and optimising operations to conserve energy, the CV

T maker, at its Lucknow plant is investing in energy-efficient technologies; is adopting energy conservation measures, use of renewable sources of energy, low-cost automation and introducing employee suggestion schemes. It has also installed a 4MWp capacity rooftop solar power plant.

Covid-19 hits city and state transport operations W

ith the arrival and spread of Novel Coronavirus in India has affected most city and state transport undertaking as the State Governments and the Centre seeks to isolate the population to contain its spread and the ensuing damage. With many State Governments imposing strict restrictions on people’s travel, it is the public and private bus operators that are feeling the most heat as their commuter count has slid to a near zero at many locations across the country. Many private bus operators have simply parked their buses whereas the public

transport utilities are acting on the order of the authorities to ferry only the essential services staff in their buses. In Maharashtra, Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) and Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation( MSRTC) were among the early organisations to take action by prohibiting standing travel in buses from March 19, 2020. Over time, the two have seen their operations come to a near standstill, the economic repercussions of which will take time to be out. They would certainly not be good for the country’s already slow and dull economy however.

he Supreme Court has offered partial relief to the prayers of Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) to sell BSIV vehicles, claim industry sources. They draw attention to the bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Deepak Gupta, passing an order that only 10 per cent of BSIV vehicles that are unsold will be allowed to be sold except in Delhi-NCR. The ones that are sold but not registered can be registered for a certain number of days after the lock-down period is over. Mention sources that dealers are sitting on a big pile of unsold BSIV vehicle inventory due to their inability to anticipate sales slowdown in the wake of sudden developments such as the arrival and spread of Covid-19. The regulatory environment is also said to have led to a slow down in sales. Over the last one to two months, sales of vehicles are said to have fallen by 60 to 70 per cent.

Commercial Vehicle www.commercialvehicle.in // April 2020



NTPC to supply electric buses N

TPC has partnered with the Department of Transport of Andaman & Nicobar Islands to supply electric buses. These will help the respective transport department to offer a complete transport solution, which would include 20 air-conditioned electric buses of nine-meter each in

phase I. NTPC will set up public charging infrastructure on the island, and in time for the

e-buses to start operation by August 2020 on a commercial basis. Introduced with the purpose of reducing noise pollution and eliminating tailpipe emission, the e-buses will offer a comfortable ride. They will be GPS enabled, and will possess the necessary security tech

VECV Bhopal plant on track

Electric threewheelers from Lohia


n the wake of the acute slowdown in the Indian auto industry, one positive news is that the Bhopal plant of VE Commercial Vehicles (VECV) is on track. Despite the CV maker experiencing a steep decline in sales, the work on building the Bhopal plant continues at the speed decided earlier. Starting work on the plant in the second half of last year, the company is working towards commissioning production in April 2020. Being built to support a capacity to produce 40,000 units per year, the new plant, as part


Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in

of VECV’s strategic investments, is witnessing some changes though. Rather than flaunt a state-of-the-art paint shop, the plant will not any now. This will pave the way for VECV to tone down the investment from Rs.400 crore to Rs.250 crore. The CV maker will utilise its existing paint shop at the Pithampur plant to paint the vehicles produced at Bhopal as well. By doing this, the company is ensuring that its staff does not have to take a pay cut. The excess staff from Pithampur will be utilised at the Bhopal plant.

s a manufacturer of three-wheelers, a good portion of them, electric, Lohia Auto has begun work towards presenting itself as a ‘one-stop-shop’ solutions provider for e-three-wheeler buyers. It is working in sync with the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 of the Government of India, and in the process of adding more products and models to encourage a shift to electrification. Electric threewheelers, the company is confident, will lead to a more sustainable, eco-friendly and economical last mile mobility medium.


NMC inducts 60 CNG buses

Kubota acquires 10 per cent stake in Escorts B

y acquiring a 10 per cent stake in Escorts, Kubota Corporation has increased its exposure to the Indian tractor market. Acquiring it on a post capital reduction basis for Rs. 1,042 crore (and duly informing the Bombay Stock Exchange), the Japanese tractor and machinery maker is expected to work even more closely with Escorts to drive product design and development, manufacture and sourcing of components and aggregates. Said to be actively working on sourcing components for its other operations around the world with the help and experience of Escorts, Kubota, as part of the


new arrangement, will see Escorts acquire a 40 per cent stake in its marketing and sales arm in India, Kubota Agricultural Machinery India. The existing 60:40 Joint Venture between Kubota and Escorts, Escorts Kubota India, will continue to operate as it is.

Auto companies allowed to defer earning announcements? M

arket regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), has given extra time to Indian companies to file their fourth-quarter and annual results to ease logistical difficulties due to disruptions on account of coronavirus, claim sources. They mention that the list includes auto companies like Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. Allowed to defer disclosure of earnings by 45 days until June 30,

he Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) has inducted 60 new CNG buses in its fleet, which is poised to grow to a strength of 400 buses in a matter of time. To be operated by three private agencies in agreement with the NMC, the arrival of the 60 CNG buses marks the coming of the first lot. Post their arrival from the manufacturer’s plant in Rajasthan, the buses were subjected to a clearance test by the Nashik’s Regional Transport Office. BSVI compliant, the buses are scheduled to start operating from May 01, 2020. The total count of 400 buses by NMC will include 200 CNG buses, 50 diesel buses and 150 electric buses.

2020, SEBI, inform sources, has taken into consideration changes such as restrictions on people movement, closure of commercial establishment operations, and severe restrictions on day-to-day functioning. The regulator has also provided relaxation of onemonth on half yearly compliance certificate on share transfer and relaxation of three weeks on the quarterly statement of investor complaints.

Commercial Vehicle www.commercialvehicle.in // April 2020



Production halt badly affecting Indian auto sector? W

ith key segments of Indian manufacturing shutting down in response to the lockdown orders issued by central and state governments and the suspension of public transport services in many places in the country, the Indian auto sector, claim sources, has taken a big hit. Bearing the most brunt perhaps, the Indian auto industry, inform sources, is battling a severe and prolonged slowdown in sales. With regulatory developments like the new axle norms for CVs and the implementation of BSVI emission norms from April 01, 2020, affecting it in more ways than one, the industry is making valiant efforts to find new ways to retain staff and not indulge in pay cuts at all levels. With its production plants shutting down

across the country, the Indian auto industry is also quite worried about its ability to supply as well as source technology and components to and from other markets outside India. Sources draw attention to a recent tweet by Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group, where he has expressed that the coronavirus pandemic will be followed by a global recession and the greatest toll of it would be on small businesses and self-employed daily wage workers. With production halting in the Indian auto industry expected to cause a ripple effect that would envelope various connected sectors like steel, textiles, rubber, chemicals, etc., a big worry is to provide essential services. To support operations outside India.

BHEL to supply electric buses B

harat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has bagged an order to supply stateof-the-art electric buses from Urban Transport Directorate (UTD), Lucknow. As per the tender floated by UTD, Lucknow, BHEL will design, manufacture, supply and commission AC electric low-floor buses to the city of Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. Designed to address the need for elderly and disabled people to travel, the e-buses will be operated by UTD from their Gorakhpur depot. They are expected to ply on the airport route especially. The


Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in

entire cost of charging infrastructure for these buses, including cost of charging equipment and installation, would be borne by BHEL. The project is in-line with BHEL’s transformation initiative.

Maruti Suzuki MAIL


nder the innovation program, Mobility and Automobile Innovation Lab (MAIL), Maruti Suzuki India Limited has invited applications from startups working in the areas of mobility and automobile space for its fourth cohort. Looking at cocreating technologyled mobility business solutions by converting innovative ideas of start-ups into ground-breaking solutions, the fourth cohort would provide opportunity to winning startups to undertake Paid Proof of Concept (POC). Maruti Suzuki will take interest in further developing business solutions for any live use case. Entries to the fourth cohort will be accepted till May 15, 2020.


Maruti Suzuki expands CV network B

y adding the Tour range of vehicles, which includes the Tour H1 (hatchback), Tour H2 (hatchback), Tour S (sedan), Tour V (van) and Tour M (MPV), to its commercial vehicle network that already retails the Super Carry SCV and the Eeco panel van, Maruti Suzuki India has announced a significant expansion in its CV activity. Foraying into the commercial segment in September 2016 with the Super Carry SCV, the company is looking at considerably strengthening its presence in the Indian CV space at various levels. Terming its commercial channel as the fastest growing among its other business initiatives, the company,

according to Shashank Srivastava, Executive Director - Marketing & Sales, Maruti Suzuki India, is looking at new and novel ways to cater to its CV customers, which largely comprise of owner-cum-driver. Stating that their internal research has suggested that both the goods carrier owners as well as passenger carrier owners have similar business needs, Srivastava mentioned that they have therefore decided to consolidate their commercial offerings under one roof. It may be worth noting, that in the past three years, the company has expanded its commercial network to over 320 stores across more than 235 cities.

CNG stations remain open C

NG stations across the country remain open despite the lockdown in the country, claim sources. They point at a reduction in their number in view of the reduction in the number of CNG vehicles in operation. Catering mainly to the need of the CV operators - public and private, given their need to carry out their essential duties, sources mention that 55 CNG pumps continue to operate in Delhi. A few CNG stations under Indraprastha Gas Limited are said to be open in cities like Mumbai, Pimpri Chinchwad and others across the country to ensure uninterrupted operation of public transport buses,

cabs and other vehicles that are predominantly engaged in addressing essential services. Many municipal service vehicles, sources point out, are also powered by CNG, and make a significant portion of those that offer essential services. In other but related news, Venkat Rao, President, Petrol Dealers Association (PDA), has announced that petrol and CNG pumps in Mumbai will run only between 7 am and 7 pm. It is not yet clear yet, what the economic repercussions of the drastic drop in petrol, diesel and CNG sales will be on the oil marketing companies and their dealers will be.

Cargo movement impacted as truck drivers flee? A

part from shutting down production plants and offices, the Novel Coronavirus has affected cargo movement across the country, claim sources. They draw attention to truck drivers getting stranded in various places away from their homes. With many states shutting down their borders, this situation has risen, inform sources. They also point at an acute drop in utilisation levels of CVs as drivers head to their villages amid the scare of contracting Covid-19. Coming to face a massive shortage of truck drivers, port operators are said to be making every effort to address the issue. With the count of drivers moving cargo across the country pegged at 15,000 roughly, cargo movement has been significantly affected, mention sources. With 60 per cent of the truck drivers carrying cargo containers to and from Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) having fled to the villages fearing the coronavirus outbreak, according to Pravin Paithankar, President, Maharashtra Heavy Vehicle and Inter-State Container Operators’ Association, the situation looks quite fluid for certain.

Commercial Vehicle www.commercialvehicle.in // April 2020



DICV looks at defence and off-highway D

aimler India Commercial Vehicle(DICV) is eyeing the defence and off-highway engine spaces for an opportunity, claim industry sources. They inform that the company is looking at significant opportunities in the two respective areas. Drawing

attention to the expression by company’s CEO Satyakam Arya, that they are considering the production of off-highway engines as a more futureoriented approach, sources mention that the company is also studying the requirements

IOC BSVI fuel supply I

ndian Oil Corporation (IOC) has announced that it is the first oil marketing major to supply BSVI grade fuel across the country, and well before the April 01, 2020 deadline. Dispensing petrol and diesel across 28,000 retail fuel outlets, IOC upgraded its facilities to provide BSVI fuels in a short span of three years, becoming the first


Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in

to achieve the switchover without a single disruption in comparison to its competitors. Said to control half of the country’s fuel market, the company’s refineries started the production of ultra-low sulphur BSVI fuel by the end of 2019. An exercise was undertaken to replace every drop of fuel in the country with the new one from there on.

from the defence side when it comes to vehicles. Keen to enter the off-highway segment with its four-cylinder and sixcylinder engines, the company, in the area of defence, is said to be looking at developing a 4x4 truck.

ALL lowers stake in HLFL T

he Ashok Leyland(ALL) board has decided to lower its stake in its subsidiary, Hinduja Leyland Finance (HLFL), which specialises in financing CVs. ALL currently holds 69 per cent in HLFL, which is valued at roughly Rs.5,600 crore as compared to ALL’s current market cap of Rs.13,000 crore. Approving the acquisition of 19 per cent stake in HLFL from existing shareholders like private equity firm Everstone Capital and Hinduja Group, the decision to lower stake in HLFL by ALL was taken to further simplify the holding structure, and to raise funds and prevent any future dilution in HLFL. Ashok Leyland, claim industry sources, is looking at slashing the investment to less than a third of the Rs.1,200 crore initially proposed.


HPCL enters Bhutan

BOCI requests loan and tax holiday? T


industan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) has commissioned its first petrol pump in Bhutan in partnership with State Trading Corporation of Bhutan (STBCL), a Government of Bhutan entity. The pump has been fully-automated in its operation and requires manual intervention at the dispensing level. Deploying staff that has been trained at the company’s Skill

Development Institute in Visakhapatnam, the pump is one of the first of the 22 such outlets HPCL plans to start in Bhutan as per the Memorandum Of Understanding(MOU) with STBCL. As per the MoU, HPCL will provide technical and brand support to STBCL to set up and run the outlets. It will also supply products to the outlets.

Sitharaman announces economic measures C

NG stations across the country remain open despite the lockdown in the country, claim sources. They point at a reduction in their number in view of the reduction in the number of CNG vehicles in operation. Catering mainly to the need of the CV operators - public and private, given their need to carry out their essential duties, sources mention that 55 CNG pumps continue to operate in Delhi. A few CNG stations under Indraprastha Gas Limited are said to be open in cities like Mumbai, Pimpri Chinchwad and others across the country to ensure uninterrupted operation of public transport buses, cabs

and other vehicles that are predominantly engaged in addressing essential services. Many municipal service vehicles, sources point out, are also powered by CNG, and make a significant portion of those that offer essential services. In other but related news, Venkat Rao, President, Petrol Dealers Association (PDA), has announced that petrol and CNG pumps in Mumbai will run only between 7 am and 7 pm. It is not yet clear yet, what the economic repercussions of the drastic drop in petrol, diesel and CNG sales will be on the oil marketing companies and their dealers will be.

he Bus and Car Operators Confederation of India (BOCI) has requested the finance ministry to provide bus and cab operators with a loan and tax holiday for the next three months in the wake of the arrival and spread of Novel coronavirus, drastically affecting their business, claim sources. They mention that a letter to this effect was sent by BOCI president Prasanna Patwardhan to the respective ministry. Mention sources, that in the letter, the BOCI president has urged the ministry to also provide a moratorium on EMI payment for six months, defer GST payment, and PF as well as ESIC payment. Requesting the ministry that no interest and penalty be levied upon deferment for the next six months, the BOCI president’s letter, inform sources, has also urged the ministry to bring the entire industry under MSME to enable safeguards under law. The letter, they add, has also urged for a toll fee waiver on national highways for the next six months, and a reduction in excise duty on fuel.

Commercial Vehicle www.commercialvehicle.in // April 2020


Cover Story

R S Sachdeva, COO, VE Commercial Vehicles Ltd., and Vinod Aggrawal, MD & CEO, VE Commercial Vehicles Ltd., at the announcement of Eutech6.


Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in

Cover Story

VECV announces Eutech6 With Eutech6, VE Commercial Vehicles has added an edge to its BSVI strategy. Deven Lad


s part of its BSVI strategy, VE Commercial Vehicles (VECV) has announced the launch of Eutech6. Encompassing the CV maker’s experience in producing Euro6 engines since 2013 at its engine plant in partnership with Volvo Group, Eutech6 highlights an ability to leverage the knowledge of one of the partners – Volvo – to produce as well as support BSVI equivalent trucks in various parts of the world. Highlighting Exhaust After-Treatment (EATS) technology as

well, and involving electronic governing software, the relevant hardware that includes the ECU and various sensors, the DPF and other components, Eutech6 underlines uptime solutions that add to the overall value proposition. Empowering the operator to earn more, Eutech6, according to Vinod Aggarwal, Managing Director and CEO, VECV, is engineered to offer superior technology, better performance and the necessary aftermarket support. Coming against a backdrop of higher acquisition cost of a BSVI

Commercial Vehicle www.commercialvehicle.in // April 2020


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CV and efforts put in to ensure retention of fuel efficiency edge when compared to BSIV CV of the same stature, Eutech6 points at an ability to offer superior fluid efficiency and validation (as well as testing) spanning 5.6 million-km. Supporting Eutech6, which is capable of reducing fuel costs by improving performance, productivity and uptime, is a competence development centre and mobile training facilities. An Uptime Centre is also a part.


Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in

Uptime Centre Setup at the company’s Pithampur facility in April 2019, the Uptime Centre is spread over an area of 2400 sq. ft. It has a 24x7 support team that comprises of diagnostics experts. These offer remote diagnostics and predictive diagnostics. Upgraded to cater to BSVI CVs, the Centre can take control of any vehicle at a dealer workshop or on the road (post a breakdown or if it is in need of an assistance) and provide necessary guidance. Using

telematics as the basis (standard fitment on every Eicher CV), the Uptime Centre is offering support in languages like Hindi, Marathi Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam. It is supporting 35 fleet customers with 6000 vehicles. Manned by 87 people, the Uptime Centre also involves the dealership network of VECV. Currently supporting six to eight districts (24x7) across the country, it is adding value to the after-sales support offered by the company. Marking an

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A Mobile training van is also part of the comprehensive Eutech6.

important part of Eutech6 no doubt, the Uptime Centre is designed and developed to create a unique support culture that encompasses the entire lifecycle of the vehicle. It is also designed and developed to tap earning avenues that will assume greater importance

with BSVI; to tap avenues that extend well beyond the initial acquisition cost of a CV. Revealed Aggarwal, that VECV is collecting the learnings from diagnosis of vehicles through the Uptime Centre and utilising them to upskill the dealers and technicians. Stating that the

‘Uptime’ journey started with a reactive approach, he expressed that the pro-active nature of the exercise is now structured across two phases – Uptime 1.0 and Uptime 2.0 respectively. Involving dealer support, Uptime 1.0 involves the creation of a diagnostics

Commercial Vehicle www.commercialvehicle.in // April 2020


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The BSVI strategy as a part of Eutech6 also comprises of a competence development centre at Pithampur.


learning document within four hours of the call. The document is forwarded to the dealership as the average cases handled by the Uptime Centre continue to rise. While a breakdown assistance van is often dispatched quickly as per the need by the dealership closest to the breakdown, the amount of cases handled per quarter by the Uptime Centre has risen to 77 in a short span of time. If this points at an improvement in VECV’s ability to respond, the data obtained is also being put to good use for the development of preventive maintenance techniques. Predicting faults before they crop up under the realm of Uptime 2.0. VECV informs vehicle owners to visit the nearest dealership in anticipation of a fault development and a subsequent breakdown. A message is also sent to the dealership to ensure timely repair.

Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in

Active vendor support Helping the operator to conduct the repairs himself in case it is minor and does not require him to suffer a downtime, the Uptime solution, under Eutech6, also provides spares support. Devised with the active support of its vendors, VECV is putting to good use its central warehouse at Pithampur as well as the regional warehouses. Playing a part in faster availability of spares at dealerships to ensure maximum uptime, the CV maker has aligned the supply of spares with Uptime 1.0 and Uptime 2.0. As part of Eutech6, a clear shift towards preventive maintenance is visible. The hit rate of such a measure is currently claimed to be 84 per cent. Arranged such that the red colour coding means ‘Predictive Critical’ (immediate intervention is necessary), yellow colour coding means intervention is

required but not immediate, and blue colour coding means intervention is required and the fault can be rectified by the customer, Eutech6 is being honned further to make it more effective. Investing in a new plant at Bhopal to augment its capacity, the CV maker is also upgrading its dealership network. It is turning it into an infrastructure that would support future endeavours in connection with the regulatory framework as well as the market needs. Monitoring as well as supporting an improvement in driving habits with the use of telematics, VECV is ensuring higher productivity and profitability achievement for its BSVI CV customers. Investing in a driver training facility, the company is packaging a good deal of value through Eutech6. Leaving no stone unturned to lead the charge in BSVI era, VECV is leveraging the strong arm of technology and know-how to stay ahead of the curve.

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A key part of Eutech6 is the ‘Uptime Centre’.


Vinod Aggarwal, Managing Director and CEO, VE Commercial Vehicles Ltd.

How do you plan to promote BSVI technology and other related solutions under Eutech6? Eutech6 is about BSVI technology experience, EATS and uptime. We have more than six years of producing EuroVI engines. We have gained a lot of experience from Volvo customers. The EuroVI engines produced are in use in more than 100,000 trucks the world over. In over 41 countries to be precise. Accounting for the experience gained, and it being leveraged in the development of drivelines, we are prepared to deal with complexities. We are prepared to deal with new demands and needs. How would you link modularisation to the need to deal with complexities? Our new range of trucks is quite modular in nature. They offer certain benefits that we are keen to leverage. We may not look at launching anything new next year. What we want to focus on is to commercialise what we have developed.

any vehicle at a dealer workshop or waiting at the roadside. The Centre will provide guidance on a real time basis. In Phase 2, it will provide predictive guidance.

Are you further strengthening your aftermarket network to support the uptime promise under Eutech6? There is a lot of electronics involved in BSVI. It translates into a significant aftermarket activity involving the network. The dealers and technicians will need to be trained. In fact, they are being trained. We have taken effective steps to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place. Our technicians are ready. Emphasis is being laid on harnessing the experience for betterment of people. An important part will be played by the Uptime Centre. It will work 24x7 and take control of

There was no pre-buying, can you quantify the lack of it given your decline in sales figures? We were expecting pre-buying but the same has not been experienced due to various reasons. We expect better buying in the absence of pre-buying. We are looking forward to better opportunities in the future. Will the scrappage policy that is being spoken about, revive demand? Scrappage policy will increase demand. We are waiting for it. How do you plan to tap emerging segments like e-commerce with the new range of BSVI CVs? It is a new type of customer that looks at productivity. Ours is the best solution. We offer highly productive trucks that would most suit the requirement.

Commercial Vehicle www.commercialvehicle.in // April 2020


cover story Interview

Rajinder Sachdeva, Chief Operating Officer, VE Commercial Vehicles Ltd.

What challenges do you anticipate with the move to BSVI and BSIV? Challenges will be faced by the industry in first two years as technology matures. Consider fuel availability from 50 parts per million (ppm) to 10 parts per million (ppm). The government has invested much to ensure 10 ppm. Regarding higher technology complexity in BSVI, the need for a lot of calibration was a challenge. Another challenge was engine and aftertreatment development. It had to be done in a short time frame of three years. Europe took almost a decade whereas in India work started in 2017 and ended in 2020. The time available to calibrate as well as to develop the necessary infrastructure supply was very less. How did you leverage your ability to produce Euro6 engines for the development of BSVI technology? In India, most regulations have come from Europe. The government and the operating bodies have always looked at

route to reduce emissions. It is sustainable at this point of time. Neither from the supply chain point, and neither from the cost point. The journey from BSVI to CNG to LNG to EV to hydrogen fuel cell is long. The next 15 years will be very exciting. ICE engine will be absolute and EV and hydrogen cells as zero emission solutions will come under the spotlight. Europe because Indian operating conditions are closer to Europe. In the case of BSVI and Euro6, the main difference is temperature. In Europe, the temperature is -30 degree Celsius. In India, it is -10 degree Celsius. What challenges could customers face? Challenges will be there in cost efficiency and energy efficiency. There will be technical difficulties. The ones that offer better reliability, better uptime and lowest cost will take the lead. How about electrification? Apart from BSVI, EV is one

With the push for BSVI and alternate fuel technologies, how has VECV come to balance between cost and quality? For us, customer satisfaction is the first priority. We want to ensure the best product, best operating economy and lifetime support. We feel that the more care we take of our customers, the more they will come back and spend. We have experienced that in the last two-to-three years. Wherever we are able to ensure better uptime, better operating economy and better profitability, they have come back. They have spent more.

VECV is ensuring higher productivity and profitability achievement for its BSVI CV customers.


Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in

Special Report

Truck apps proliferate Truck apps have come to increase the efficiency and earning-ability of truckers with the help of IoT and AI. Bhushan Mhapralkar


o shift a fowler bed from Mira Road on the outskirts of Mumbai to Bhakti Park in the heart of Mumbai, Vinay hired a Maxximo mini-truck on the Porter app. He paid Rs.1500 for the task. It was approximately 50 per cent less than the Rs.2500 quoted by a Tata Ace operator that operates from his vicinity. For the operator, which ferried the bed, the engagement with Porter app platform

for business has turned out to be beneficial. His income has gone up. He now has work coming to him rather than him facing an amount of downtime until a local trader or businessmen would engage his service. Like the Maxximo operator in Mumbai, Rishad Shaikh is happy to have engaged with a trucking app. in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. With a family of four to feed, he has seen his monthly income in the region

of Rs.15,000 to Rs.19,000 jump to Rs.35,000 to Rs.40,000 a month. It has nearly doubled for Shaikh. Looking at what is happening with Shaikh at Lucknow, or the Maxximo operator in Mumbai, a big disruption is being led by the trucking apps. If the income levels of Shaikh have witnessed a dramatic change after being introduced by his fellow operator friend to a voice-assisted

Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in


Special Report

multilingual trucking app, a clear disruption is playing out in the CV space; in the small CV space especially. It is more pronounced in the last mile connectivity segment. Apart from Porter, an app called BlackBuck is finding many takers. It is offered by a Bengaluru-based logistics firm, BlackBuck, and aimed squarely at the drivers. It is designed and engineered to improve the earnings of thousands of truckers by capturing and analysing data. Tapping a host of technologies, including telematics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and Internet of Things (IoT), the app. is enabling truck drivers an opportunity to improve their uptime. If the slowdown and new axle norms have brought about a fall in demand and simultaneously in a fall in the utilisation level, the trucking


apps. are helping most in the area of partial load most. With trucks in India said to have an average utilisation level of as low as 33 per cent, truck apps. like Porter and BlackBuck are charting out a significant change. What adds weight to their performance is their ability

Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in

to sustain in an environment that has seen disruptions like demonetisation and GST (followed by the e-way bill). Withstanding a disruption like the change in axle norms that hiked the GVW of CVs by up to 15 per cent at once, trucking apps. are continuing to proliferate. They are doing

Special Report

so in an environment where the trucking fraternity has been inflicted with many wounds. Proving to be a disruptor with an ability to help earn more, trucking apps. are charting a good growth trajectory. With many small and medium-scale transporters exiting the industry, or on the verge to do so, trucking apps are turning out to be a technology-intensive approach to doing business. Consider the Porter and Blackbuck app. for example, and the driver is given load assurance across multiple lanes and commodities to elevate his efficiency. He is provided Google Maps with trucking context to help him to follow the most optimal route. Providing him with the knowledge of fuel stations, toll gates and rest areas on his

intended route, the onboard tracking devices supplied by the app. providers are proving to be quite beneficial for the operators. Said to include global positioning system that constantly feeds data to the backend system, the devices are also said to predict driver behaviour in context to him taking a certain route; when he will finish unloading, and will be available for the next job. The best part is, the driver is recommended a load nearby even before he finishes unloading. Thus, consistent demand mapping is one of the highlights of the new trucking apps. They help to optimise truck utilisation, empowering truck operators to earn more. Leveraging IoT and AI, the truck apps are making good use of new and emerging technologies like telematics. They are enabling truckers to

connect in real-time with the shipper. Not only is it leading to higher utilisation, it is also leading to an improvement in shipping services. Apart from being able to predict the dispatch and arrival of the cargo, the big advantage the truck apps are coming to provide is efficient pricing. Consider the fact that Vinay paid Rs.1500 to accomplish his task through Porter rather than shell out Rs.2,500 to an operator with a similar size of truck in the vicinity who is essentially ‘offline’. What makes it even more interesting is how far the trucking apps have been expanding their scope of efficiency. Something that will benefit the operator who has engaged with him, and the end user too. A chat with a Blackbuck linked operator revealed that it provides some additional

Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in


Special Report benefits to him in the form of a fleet card; in the form of tyres; in the form of insurance, and in the form of working capital credit. If the engagement with apps like Backbuck have enabled the truckers to clock more kilometers every month, the big gain is the sense of belonging, security and respect. Ironic as it may sound, it is not rare or unusual to see a truck in most cities and towns in India with the Porter or Blackbuck app. mentioned on the sides. In the area of security, the trucking apps. have come to provide the option of a dashcam. It monitors driver behaviour by capturing his image and relaying it to the command centres which decipher the implications of the images by using algorithms. Upon detecting that the driver is


Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in

drowsy, distracted, or driving rashly, the algorithm alerts the driver by sending him a message. Upon seeing no change, the truck owner is informed so that he can take charge of the situation. With CV makers penetrating the space by ensuring the evolution of their telematics programs, trucking apps. have been taking their model to the next level. They have been increasingly engaging with truck owners. They are enabling them to monitor, assess and compare the performance of their drivers, vehicles and accordingly make an informed decision. While acceleration and braking are some of the key differentiators, trucking apps. are dialling an amount of safety for certain. They are exploring a position where they could reduce the rate of

accidents by as much as 50 per cent or more. If they could reduce the maintenance costs by a good margin as well. If Demonetisation exposed the Indian economy to transaction mediums other than cash, a few transporters were already on their way to cashless transactions involving their trucks and drivers. Since the announcement was made by the prime minister on the evening of November 08, 2016, many other transporters have turned to cashless transactions. Trucking apps. are using this shift to their advantage. With the coming of new norms like toll passage tags, trucking apps. have come to complement the use of fuel cards, FASTags, tracking and telematics devices, fuel sensors and dashcams. The number of trucks in India that use

Special Report

trucking apps. may be hard to arrive at, companies like Blackbuck are known to have 2,00,000 partner trucks. These could be serving 1,000 locations in India. Backed by investors like Goldman Sachs and Accel Partners among others, BlackBuck is investing heavily into product development and data sciences, which are the core of its marketplace approach. Aiming at an estimated USD 250 billion worth of trucking and allied services market -- something that CV makers like Ashok Leyland have been quite verbal of tapping with their digital solutions, app. providers like BlackBuck and Lynk, which has had over 3.5 lakh downloads thus far, are eyeing strong growth in the medium to long-term. Aligning themselves with the regulatory as well as market changes, they are looking at what the national logistics policy would unleash. It was announced by union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech recently that a national logistics policy will be announced by the government soon. With the Indian logistics

sector claimed to provide a livelihood to more than 22 million people, according to the Economic Survey 2017-18, the trucking app. companies are facilitating a decrease in logistics costs. This is said to be in-line with the government’s intention, and which could perhaps be the reason for the announcement of new axle norms. Leveraging big data, IoT and advanced analytics, Rivigo trucking app. company is looking at safer, faster and affordable trucking. Striving to address real-time demand-supply matching by creating traffic maps and by enabling efficient utilisation of resources, the company is working towards a platform that lets shippers and truckers to collaborate seamlessly. In a market that has been cash intensive and unorganised with a majority of transport companies family owned businesses, aggregator platforms like Rivigo are causing a flutter. They are even making the big players sit up and take notice. Even as Rivigo offers shippers the opportunity to take help of different

transport solutions offered by it, and to deliver cargo quickly, the trucking app. companies as a whole are up against a market that is vast and fragmented. Consider this: India has about 230 micro truck markets. With the market largely divided between full-load and partial-load, trucking apps. like Trukky are making clever use of data to increase their reach. In and around Kolkata, shippers take to a trucking app. called OXA, which is known to offer transportation of cargo at reasonable rates. Inspired by trucking apps., there are apps. for services like ambulances that are springing up. For all the data, including real-time tracking and more that the trucking apps. have come to offer, what needs to improve is the reliability of the truck operators that engage with them. Challenges like these will not just test the resilience of trucking app. providing companies, they will lead them beyond their status as startups. Once the trucking app companies find themselves on the right side of profits, it would be safe to claim that truck apps. have arrived.

Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in


In focus

IKEA on wheels Ikea on wheels concept in Mumbai has preceded its second store opening late summer this year at Navi Mumbai and utilities Tata trucks. Deven Lad and Deepti Thore


Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in


in focus

he Sofa looks quite comfy and cosy. It has a typical Scandinavian flair to it. The wall unit behind it too extends a typical minimalist yet very wooden feel about it. The wall clock above too follows the minimalist approach that is unmistakably Swedish in nature. There are various bits that could make a living room look cosy and well decorated, and have a very Scandinanvian feel to it. Set up on an intermediate-class of truck -- a Tata LPT 909 EX to be precise, the living room is a reflection of Ikea’s concept called ‘Ikea on Wheels’. Operating in over 433 stores in 52 countries, Ikea, which set up its first store in India at the fag end of 2018 in Hyderabad, has taken to three trucks in Mumbai to create the necessary buzz for its second store. Scheduled to open late summer this year, the second store will highlight all the ethos that a typical Ikea store does in any part of the world. The three ‘Ikea on Wheels’ precede this endeavour. They are also supporting the company’s e-commerce initiative that is claimed to be working mostly out of its Hyderabad store. Including a bigger Tata LPT 1109 EX truck that has a kitchen built on it, the three ‘Ikea on Wheels’ trucks come painted in an Ikea shade of blue. Reflecting the thoughts and ambitions of its founder, Feodor Ingvar Kamprad in 1943, the three ‘Ikea on Wheels’ trucks have a large glass facade each. It makes for an easier glimpse of what the Ikea exhibit is all about. It makes for a good

Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in


In focus

glimpse of a range of wellpriced and made furniture and other utilities that Ikea has come to be known for the world over. From a simple yet highly elegant night lamp to a fairly sophisticated looking knife sharpening tool on the


Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in

kitchen truck, the three ‘Ikea on Wheels’ truck doing the rounds of various parts of Mumbai and Navi Mumbai aptly drawing attention to Ikea’s rich history that could be traced back to the mailorder sales business in 1943,

and its progression to a furniture selling business five years later. Opening its first store at Älmhult, Småland (Sweden) in 1958 under the name Möbel-IKÉA, the three ‘Ikea on Wheels’ trucks have come

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Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in


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to depict the task trucks the world over have played in moving cargo, and in helping organisations like Ikea to take its business to other parts of the world; to amalgamate its ability to turn out among the most desired furniture and other utilities with an ability to


Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in

adapt to diverse cultures the world over. Sourcing for many decades from India, Ikea, the three trucks depict, has done a good job of taking the Scandanavian furniture design and qualities to other parts of the world, fusing the culture and diversity of other parts of

the world with it. Turning out to be an effective furniture and household goods platform the world over, the three ‘Ikea on Wheels’ trucks also add to the differential marketing experience many global corporates have taken to. Stationing two trucks (the

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About the trucks The Tata LPT 909 EX2 truck chassis that Ikea used to build its living room exhibit on, is powered by a 125 hp 3.8-litre diesel engine. The GVW of the truck is 9.6-tonnes and the cargo body span is 12.6 feet in length. Riding on 16-inch dia wheels, the truck features power steering, and semi-elliptical leaf spring suspension at the front and rear. The truck has a ground clearance of 217 mm. The LPT 1109 EX, at the other end, and on which Ikea built its kitchen exhibit, is powered by a 125 hp 3.8-litre diesel engine. The GVW of the truck is 12-tonnes and the cargo body span is 19 feet in length. Riding on 20-inch dia wheels, the truck features power steering, and semi-elliptical leaf spring suspension at the front and rear. The truck has a ground clearance of 225 mm.

Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in


In focus

living room truck and the kitchen truck) at the bustling Kamala Mill Compound at Lower Parel, Ikea put the third truck to promote its good in South and West Mumbai. Under the theme, ‘Sustainable living (with Kitchens)’ and ‘Living with children’ (Living room), the two Ikea trucks provided visitors an opportunity to touch and feel; to experience the brand’s home furnishing solutions, and to first-hand experience what the name stands for. Expressed a visitor that he would look forward to the Turbhe store opening to


Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in

go and shop there. Terming the Ikea products on display across both the trucks as innovative and cost effective, the visitor pointed at how the two trucks have to come to offer the people of Mumbai a glimpse of how they could imagine their homes would look like with Ikea offerings. With personalised assistance on offer from Ikea’s Life at Home experts present, the two Ikea trucks empowered their visitors to look beyond furniture and at the entire decor. It is not without a reason that an Ikea official is known

to say that the two trucks are helping the people of Mumbai to touch, feel and experience our home furnishing solutions. Drawing upon the first truck, themed ‘Create Space’, which was built by Ikea to showcase its affordable and multifunctional home furnishing product solutions in August 2019, the two trucks also reflected on the fact that Mumbai is already looking to be a significant market for Ikea as it spreads its presence in various parts of the vast country that India is.

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In focus

V-Trans looks at new growth avenues Drawing from its legacy, V-Trans is looking at new avenues of growth. Deepti Thore


Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in

in focus Entering the transport business with a second-hand Chevrolet truck in 1958, K K Shah laid the foundation for V-Trans. Starting life as Kunverji K. Shah & Co. at Mumbai, V-Trans grew at the hands of K.K. Shah as an organisation that did not shy away from exploring new opportunities. Doing so to this day, it continues to be a family owned business that is run in a professional manner, according to Mahendra Shah, the managing director of the company. Stressing upon K. K. Shah driving a heavily-laden Dodge truck to his hometown Bhuj in 1956, Mahendra Shah expressed that V-Trans is continuing to grow steadily despite the challenging environment. With the headquarter at Mumbai, the company,

specialising in partial load carriage, is expanding its reach in warehousing. Looking at specialising in chemical warehousing, according to Aditya Shah, Executive Director, V-Trans is continuing to integrate its supply chain management services even as it operates a fleet of 1100 trucks, owned and attached. A good number of its trucks in its fleet consisting of Mahindra and BharatBenz make, the company has already invested in warehouses at multiple locations like Bommasandra, Dapoda, Chandigarh and Chennai. Offering 3PL services under one roof, V-Trans has built a two lakh sq.ft. warehouse at Bhiwandi called the ‘Chem Store’ for its chemical sector clients. NBC 2016 and NFPA compliant, the warehouse at Bhiwandi is designed for storage of hazardous chemicals and expected to be commissioned in the second half of the

current fiscal. Taking pride in offering end-to-end solutions to its chemical sector clients in the area of primary and secondary distribution, V-Trans is charting a growth path by adding many valueadded services to its kitty. Addressing the needs of its clients as they consolidate their manufacturing and warehousing needs, V-Trans has expanded its infrastructure to 750 branches and 50 major and minor transshipments with close to 0.9 million sq. ft. warehousing space. With a clear objective to provide superior service standards, the company is increasing its reach by charting new routes and special services. These are based on the acquisition and analysis of data to ensure utmost efficiency, agility and less costs. Starting a vendor management cell, V-Trans has conceptualized a new vertical for Full-Truck Load (FTL).

(L to R) : Mahendra Shah, Managing Director, V-Trans India Ltd. and Aditya Shah, Executive Director, V-Trans India Ltd.

Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in


In focus

V-Trans has its own state-ofthe-art training centre known as the V-Trans Group Training & Development Center – Pathshala providing various skills and personality development trainings, including succession programs.


It is dedicated to offering supply chain solutions. Maintaining a healthy cash flow, the company has been laying much emphasis on quality, geography and sales. With Part-Truck Load (PTL) an essential part of transportation, V-Trans continues to enjoy the patronage of its many SME clients even as it explores new avenues for growth. Drawing from its legacy thus, the company has drawn out an in-depth strategy to strengthen its branches, hubs, connecting route services, feeder and last mile. It is also overhauling management areas concerning misrouting, shortage, breakages and return deliveries to ensure higher efficiency and agility. Driving a single-window service strategy to ensure high quality service for its clients,

Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in

V-trans, after carrying out a brand overhauling activity in 2015, is moulding itself with an intention to address the growing requirements of its clients. It is, in the process, taking to address their legal needs even as it takes to handling bigger accounts; takes to handling new norms and credit cases. Putting in place a legal department that works relentlessly to abide by the law and comply with the statutory requirements, V-Trans, operating through three verticals, V-Trans, V-Xpress and V-Logis, is keen

to be looked at as an ideal logistics partner. Bringing qualitative differences in the integrated supply chain management services, the company is leveraging its understanding of the domain to differentiate from the competition. Stressing upon seamless flow of information between different parts of the supply chain and faster availability of resources, V-Trans, according to Aditya, is successfully tackling the changes -- major, macro and minor in nature, to ensure continued growth. As an

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organised player, the company has found the implementation of GST and e-Way bill beneficial. Of the opinion that GST and e-way bill have paved way for consolidation of infrastructure and faster movement of goods with lesser paperwork and lesser difficulties at check posts, Aditya Shah averred that his company is keeping an eye on the developments in the e-commerce space. E-commerce, he said, has taught the logistics industry to be more proactive in dealing with the consumer’s demand. It has pushed logistics companies to get to a new level of services and efficiency, he added. With technology intervention at its peak, and many startups coming on the scene with innovative ideas and superior

solutions, V-Trans has picked some of the best practices from the e-commerce space to up its operational efficiency. It has done so especially on its b2b side of the business. Stating that there’s more clarity after the implementation of GST, Mahendra K. Shah mentioned that his company has expanded its infrastructure in-line with the client’s requirements, which have undergone a change in terms of its supply chains post GST. If the introduction of FasTag is expected to prove beneficial over time, V-Trans is successfully adopting new technologies as they arrive, given their capability to enhance efficiency and earning-ability. Expecting FasTag to save 12000 crores annually for fuel and manhours post its successful

implementation and the ironing out of anomalies, the company is keeping a close eye on the consolidation activities in its space. With 10 major mergers and acquisitions taking place in the current financial year with the total value estimated to be above USD 603 million, V-Trans is cautious about any collaboration on the technical or financial front. Working towards an asset light business model, the company is investing in technology and people. It is investing in and fleet. Expecting better service and support from truck makers as BSVI emission regulations roll out, V-Trans is looking at some distinct benefits from the government policy changes. Of the opinion that the capacity to carry more has only increased by four to five per cent against the claim that it has increased by 15 per cent, Mahendra K, Shah expressed that the new axle norms have offered customers with more options to ship their cargo. “They are now able to avail desired vehicles as per the load,” he said. Stating that there was a need to reduce the ‘cooling time’, Shah averred, “Today our industry is facing a big issue of cooling time due to delays caused by mismatched loads and delays in loading and unloading of vehicles. If this can be reduced, the profitability could be enhanced.” Tackling the pressure caused by liquidity crunch in the market by enhancing its operational efficiency, V-Trans has for the last one decade grown at a healthy CAGR of 20 per cent. Maintaining a good net Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in


In focus

V-Trans has built a two lakh sq.ft. warehouse at Bhiwandi called the ‘Chem Store’ for its chemical sector clients for storage of hazardous chemicals.


Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in

profit for the last four to five years, the company has allocated Rs.10 crore as capex for the next year. Looking at a strong growth in PTL as well as FTL, V-Trans is planning to offer better cost and service efficiency. It is thus working closely with a few big 3PL clients. Banking on data and technology, it is also gauging new ways to continuously improve its operational efficiency and market reach. Looking at new emerging technologies like Blockchain for example, V-Trans, by capturing as well as analyzing data to sharpen its ability to make decisions and to anticipate the future developments, is looking at new growth avenues in the domestic market as well as the international markets. It is confident that its legacy and knowledge will see it through the challenges that lie ahead, aided by the ability to implement new practices and processes.

Industry Talk

Cummins drives CV electrification The next generation battery electric system from Cummins Inc. is adding to the ease of CV electrification.


Ashish Bhatia

nveiling its next generation Battery Electric System (BES) at Busworld Europa 2019, Cummins Inc. has one again drawn attention to the work it is doing in the area of easily accessible, zero-emission powertrain designs for CVs. Eyeing a significant play in some

of the most competitive markets in the world like Europe, the tier automotive supplier is looking at BES, which includes a low-profile battery, to play a key role in furthering its electrification strategy. Aiming the technology at buses, the low floor ones especially, Cummins with the BES technology is

Commercial Vehicle www.commercialvehicle.in // April 2020


Industry Talk keen to highlight its prowess to mix and match existing as well as new solutions in the electric CV space. What makes BES technology highly relevant in this context is its capability to find use in various types of CVs. Claim sources close to the company, that the new, low-profile battery of the BES technology uses the latest in cell technology. They inform that the respective technology in low floor requirements is engineered to facilitate a low centre of gravity. It is also engineered to maximise the utilisation of unoccupied space, they add. To be offered as part of a broader modular platform, the BES technology is made uniue by its ability to offer high energy density and packaging efficiency. Offering an exciting glimpse of Cummins’ future product plan for electrified powertrains, according to Julie Furber, Vice President of Electrified Power at Cummins, the BES technology is engineered to support the rise in speed of electrification of buses. Buses in the public transport sector especially. Of the firm opinion that batteries with faster charging and a longer range will mark a breakthrough, Furber averred that Cummins is working in that direction. Well aware that such a development will mark a distinct technological shift, and especially in view of the regulatory requirements, she mentioned that easy adoption (and accessibility) will be at the top of the preference list. Pointing at the low profile battery, which measures under 140 mm in height in a 8.9 m long bus as part of the BES technology, she explained, that a development like this amounts to a significant development indeed. Displayed alongside the high energy BP74E batteries mounted in the roof and the Cummins System Controller at Busworld Europa, the BES technology could be well integrated with a number of technologies, including the e-Drive. The e-Drive is a single unit of traction system, which combines a motor, transmission and an inverter. It is lightweight in construction. Together with the BP393 battery, which marks the latest in battery technology that Cummins has to offer, the e-Drive system is already on its way to become a crucial part of the tier automotive supplier’s future product roadmap. It is, according to Furber, coupled with the global support offered by the Cummins network, and combines the reliability customers expect of Cummins with the efficiency of next-generation electric drivetrains in a form factor designed for easy adoption. What makes it interesting perhaps, is how the BES technology could effectively drive down CO2 emissions. As per


Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in

a company statistic, a Cummins powered electric bus can reduce CO2 emissions over a one-kilometre range by 600 gms in comparison to a Cummins B4.5 diesel engine powered bus. Interestingly, the whitepaper – ‘Future of Fleets’, by Cummins stresses upon spurring collaboration and market growth for electrified powertrains in CVs. It hints at the importance of BES technology and how it could entice OEMs. The white paper also makes an interesting reference material for decision makers by identifying technological, infrastructural, economic and regulatory factors.

Cummins DC/DC Converter.

Future of Fleets Projecting the whitepaper as the latest piece of work that aims to serve those who are starting out or continuing on the path of CV electrification, Cummins, claim sources, seeked inputs of leading companies in the field while preparing it. Stating that it is vital to diversify a country’s traffic to

Julie Furber, Vice President of Electrified Power, Cummins.

industry Talk low emission vehicles, the whitepaper points at how Cummins has made the provision to drive its electric vehicle strategy. The tier supplier has, in fact, earmarked USD 500 million for the purpose. In the realm of research and development to be precise, Cummins Inc. is continuing to work on optimising the battery design. It is looking at the use of innovative materials for anode and cathode manufacture. Stating that such a move will positively impact the battery’s capacity as well as the cost per kilowatt-hour, Furber mentioned, that the use of innovative materials for anode and cathode manufacture has the potential to maximize the battery life, optimise the charging rates, manage the temperature range and ensure utmost safety. Expecting ‘vehicle-to-grid’ technology to be highly beneficial, Cummins has identified an opportunity to defray the costs of electrification. Of the opinion that arrangements like feeding of stored power from a school bus back to the grid will benefit the power network at large, the company is keen that the collaboration between CV operators, utilities, legislators and technology vendors should rise to the next level. Confident that the feeding of stored power from a school bus back to the grid will benefit the power network at large through load balancing against the changing demand patterns, Cummins is studying the financial benefits in doing so. It is gauging if such a move will lower the total cost of ownership of EVs. Of the opinion that such a proposition will be beneficial for EV owners as well as the other stakeholders involved, Cummins is

Cummins’ existing portfolio including the high energy BP74E batteries are mounted in the roof and the Cummins System Controller.

looking at a significant shift in the school bus space in coming years. It is thus toying with the idea of utility companies in the state purchasing electric school buses and leasing them to schools with the potential to lower the upfront financial barrier to entry. Studying ways to dial sustainability and grid stability, Cummins Inc., has through its whitepaper asked for the attention of the industry to the Osborne effect, and how it should not be ignored.

Planet 2050 Strategy Announcing environment sustainability goals to 2030 and aspirations up to 2050 in a bid to do its part in addressing climate change, Cummins Inc. is banking on BES technology to electrify public transport buses such that they are sustainable and of superior value. It has outlined sciencebased goals for products and facilities up to 2030. These are aligned to the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Looking at a considerable shift towards carbon neutral technologies that address air quality, Cummins is confident that growth in the future will come from addressing the concerns pertaining to climate change, and by contributing to the cause of limiting the global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degree Celsius. Continuing to work on the targets including reduction of energy and water use as well as CO2 emission from the products, the tier supplier has outlined how its new strategy builds on the success of goals announced by the company in 2014 and timed to 2020. Working on targets that include reduction of energy, water and CO2 emissions, Cummins Inc. has set eight 2030 goals that pertain to parts, products and company managed facilities as well as operations. Further classified into two categories, they are about addressing climate change and air emissions, and about using natural resources in the most sustainable manner. To evaluate the progress made on the 2030 goals in a bid to decide on the shortcomings if any on the global energy and environmental challenges, Cummins is confident that its solutions for electrification of CVs will find more and more takers. Said Brian Mormino, Executive Director Worldwide Environmental Strategy and Compliance, Cummins Inc., that it is really important to work with carbon-neutral products and operations. Our communities and businesses depend on a healthier planet, and it is therefore necessary to take strong action on climate change and work towards a future where nothing is wasted, he added. Commercial Vehicle www.commercialvehicle.in // April 2020


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Busworld Turkey 2020 The eighth edition of Busworld Turkey (2020) highlighted rising bus and coach electrification. Deepti Thore


Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in



pening its doors to the public on March 05, 2020, the eighth edition of Busworld Turkey (2020) attracted 7935 visitors from various parts of the globe. The turnout in this edition as compared to the 2018 edition, which was held at Izmir, was roughly 30 per cent more. Successful in highlighting its international flair against a backdrop of Novel

Coronavirus, the biennial fair, held at the Istanbul Expo Center, drew 128 exhibitors. Of these were leading bus and coach builders like Anadolu Isuzu, Karsan and Otokar. If the absence of key players like Temsa and BMC was felt, a large contingent of bus components suppliers found their way to the show as well. They came from various places like China, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Taiwan.

While the key global aggregate suppliers that participated were Cummins, Allison Transmission and Voith, the long list of homegrown suppliers included companies like Makro Tekstil, GRL A.S., Inova Otomotiv, Dora Otomotive, Global Gas Springs, Hafex Aerosol Systems, Pinel Otomotiv, Mutlu Aku, Agyersan, General Teknik, MRC Otomotiv, Oto Numune, and Engin Oto. Highlighting Turkey’s status as the leading bus industry destination in Europe, these suppliers also put the spotlight on Turkey’s culture of modern manufacture and innovation that is growing in the country. If the larger turnout of electronic components suppliers hinted at the change, the nature of the buses and coaches displayed at the fair pointed at a rising shift towards electrification. With zero emissions on the agenda, Busworld Turkey 2020, highlighted a significant shift at the supplier as well as at the bus and coach manufacturing level. Over 35 vehicles were displayed. These came in various types and guises; in various forms to support a sustainable and efficient transportation ecosystem. Stressing on how advanced the Turkish bus and coach industry is, and how it is transforming, the fair, expressed Vincent Dewaele, CEO, Busworld International, was worthy of being described as the second biggest exhibition in their portfolio. Busworld International’s first exhibition in the current calendar year, Busworld Turkey (2020) occupied a space of 6868 sq. m. Spread across two of the 11 exhibition halls the Istanbul Expo Center has to offer, the expo turned out to be quite effective. Providing a platform

Commercial Vehicle www.commercialvehicle.in // April 2020


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to the stakeholders of the international bus and coach industry to conduct business, the fair highlighted a distinct shift taking place in the Turkish market as well as the European and Asian markets surrounding it. Mentioned Fatih Tamay, Head, International Passenger Transport Union (IPRU), in his inaugural speech, “Smart mobility, electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, carbon footprint, smart navigations system, smart payments systems, accessibility, safety, smart lighting, smart air-conditioning and information sharing will form an important part of sustainable people mobility in the future.” He stressed on smart cities deploying electric buses for public transport. Announcing that his association is taking steps to usher new buses in a bid to improve people’s mobility in Turkey, Ercan Soydaş, Chairman, TOHOB, averred that his country


Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in

is a major exporter of buses and coaches. It is supported by a strong manufacturing base, he added. The strength of Turkey’s manufacturing industry was aptly highlighted through the conferences the Busworld Academy conducted simultaneously. While the rides arranged by Karsan in its Jest 100 per cent electric bus added to the premise, the views and information exchanged by industry stakeholders at the conferences highlighted the significant shift taking place at various levels. Said Mustafa Yıldırım, Chairman of the Turkish Road Transport Sector Council, in his speech at one of the conferences, that there was a need to innovate; to deploy innovative technologies for zero-emission bus services in cities as an effort to improve quality of life. Of much interest turned out to be the conference on the bus and coach market in Turkey with Debashish

Bhattacharjee, Human Settlements Officer (water and sanitation), UN-HABITAT, Choudhury Rudra Charan Mohanty, Environment Programme Coordinator, UNCRD, and Mohamed Saadieh, President, UCLG-MEWA, as the participants. If the conference on the bus and coach market in Turkey drew a comparison with East European and West Asian markets in terms of the implementation of future-oriented bus systems, the conference organised by UCLG-MEWA stressed on urban mobility and how it could be of advantage to the local governments. Sergio Avelleda, Director, World Resource Institute, a global research organisation working on six critical goals that the world must achieve in this decade to secure a sustainable future, spoke about the barriers that are making it challenging to adopt e-buses. He spoke about a strategy to deal with the challenges as well.


Anadolu Isuzu


resenting a slew of ecofriendly buses in the form of the Citiport 12 CNG, Novociti Life, Novociti Volt (Electric), and Novo Lux, Anadolu Isuzu highlighted a shift towards electrification and alternate fuels. Pointing at the bus and coach builder’s presence in respective bus segments in Turkey with EuroVI Phase D in force, the buses underlined the company’s position as a leading exporter of midi-buses for the last 15 years as well. Claimed to develop vehicles for European municipalities with a local content of 70 per cent, Anadolu Isuzu displayed the NovoCiti Life, which is said to be the most sought after diesel bus in Europe. It measures eightmetres and is the winner of three awards in Turkey, Poland and Italy each, according to Anadolu Isuzu sources. A low-floor design, the bus is positioned such that it falls between the 9.5 m Citibus and the 7.5 m Novociti. It is targeted at cities with narrow streets and is designed to support the integration of people with disabilities and the elderly. Creating a new segment thus, with a smaller dimension to boast of, the bus is powered by a 186 hp FPT 4.5-litre NEF4 engine. Using non-EGR technology that enables it to be highly efficient and consume less fuel. Equipped with the pneumatic suspension at the front and rear, it can accommodate up to 60 commuters (21 seated and 39 standing). As an electric version of NovoCiti Life, the NovoCiti Volt (shown last year at Busworld Europa) is electric in nature.

12 m long CNG-powered Citiport 12 is powered by 300 hp Cummins engine

NovoCiti Life is a low-floor design diesel bus.

Commercial Vehicle www.commercialvehicle.in // April 2020


S howtime It is equipped with a 240 kW electric motor situated at the rear and supports the near-silent operation. Available with two different battery packs (the 140 kWh version delivers a range of up to 210 km and the 268 kWh version offers a range of upto 400 km) that are placed on the roof, the bus is fitted with an AVAS (Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System). AVAS generates an artificial engine sound for pedestrian safety. Charged from a single charging socket (AC at 22 kW or DC at 140 kW), the battery life of the bus is guaranteed to not decrease below 70 per cent for five years or 250,000 km. Capable of quick charging in two hours with 600-Volt operating voltage, the batteries could be charged via a home charge (AC in eight hours) either. With a focus on curbing emissions, the CNG-powered Citiport 12 is powered by a 300 hp Cummins engine mated to a ZF Ecolife auto transmission. Measuring 12 m in length, the low-floor bus offers a smooth driving experience. The interior layout is spacious, and the vehicle comes with a kneeling system for disabled-friendly operation. Offering a barrier-free journey for all passengers, the bus is equipped with EBS, ABS, ASR, integrated retarder, hill holder, independent air suspension and an integrated CCTV system. The dashboard is ergonomically designed, and the driver seat is heated. There’s a digital air-con as well as a passenger counting system. Delivering a comfortable ride, the 7.3 m long Novo Lux is a mid-size coach for an application like a personnel shuttle or as a bus that ferries tourists. Could be had with a 2x1 seating layout, it is powered by a 190 hp 5.1-litre


NovoCiti Volt is electric version of NovoCiti Life.

The 7.3 m long Novo Lux is a mid-size coach used as a personnel shuttle or as a bus that ferries tourists.

diesel engine mated to a sixspeed gearbox. The suspension is made up of parabolic leaf springs

Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in

at the front and rear. There is a choice of pneumatic suspension at the rear.




f the five buses that Otokar displayed, it was the Kent Electra that drew the most attention. Leveraging Otokar’s experience in building some of the best and most regarded buses, the Kent Electra measures 12 m in length. A flagship offering of the company, it is backed by its manufacturer’s ambition to become a global brand. Capable of carrying up to 95 passengers (29 seated and 65 standing), the bus is fitted with a ZF AVE 130 electric portal axle. It produces a maximum power of 250 kW and contains four packs of seven Lithium-Ion batteries amounting to 350 kWh capacity. Available with two or three doors as per the application, the bus features independent front wheel suspension and active safety technologies like ABS, EBS and ASR. Fully charged in four hours through depot charging, the bus, without the need of any infrastructure along the route, can run for up to 300 km. Reflecting Otokar’s innovative design philosophy, the Sultan LF is a low-floor design bus measuring 8.3 m in length. It has a passenger capacity of up to 63 people (21 seating and 42 standing). Powered by a 143 hp diesel engine mounted at the front such that it is offset to the near side, allowing for a totally flat floor in the passenger saloon, the bus is a lightweight design. It has a wide front and rear doors. Quite modern and a bit unusual in its appearance as well, the Sultan LF is built with narrow streets in mind. It is aimed at shuttle operators. Worthy of mention is the separate driver’s area.

Sultan Comfort is 7.2 m long bus powered by EuroVI diesel engine.

10 m in length, the Doruk T can accommodate up to 45 people and is powered by a 253 hp diesel engine. Commercial Vehicle www.commercialvehicle.in // April 2020


S howtime Popular in the Turkish tourist bus market, the Sultan Mega measures 8.5 m in length. It has a total capacity of up to 37 people and is powered by the 173 hp Cummins ISB 4.5 EuroVI diesel engine coupled with an Allison six-speed auto or an Eaton sixspeed manual transmission. With ergonomic and functional driver’s area, the bus features the latest security system. It also features LDWS (Lane Breach Warning System), AEBS (Advanced Emergency Braking System), heated horn mirrors, air rear suspension, ABS and ESC braking system. Capable of accommodating up to 30 people, the Sultan Comfort is 7.2 m long. It is powered by a 143 hp EuroVI diesel engine mated to an Allison T 2100 xFE auto transmission. Aimed at tourism, school and personnel shuttle operations, the bus features Emergency Braking System (AEBS) and front and rear disc brakes. Luxurious in its build, the bus is had with armchairs, armpit refrigerator, announcement system, LCD screen, DVD and a strong air conditioner. About comfort and a silent ride, the Sultan Comfort makes an interesting bus indeed. Measuring 10 m in length, the Doruk T can accommodate up to 45 people. It is powered by a 253 hp diesel engine mated to a sixspeed Eaton manual transmission. Featuring disc brakes, ABS, EBS and driver-assist technologies, the bus offers high luggage capacity and a spacious interior. With stress on comfort, the Doruk T also features a lane departure warning system (LDWS), advanced AEBS braking system, ASR, and ESP.


Kent Electra is Otokar’s flagship product which drew most attention at Busworld Turkey 2020.

Sultan LF is a low-floor design bus measuring 8.3 m in length.

Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in




howcasing its 100 per cent electric public transport vehicles, Jest Electric and AtakElectric, Karsan provided the visitors with an opportunity to experience rising electrification in the Turkish market first hand. Deploying Jest electric buses outside the fair venue for visitors to take a ride, the company highlighted its position as innovative. Measuring six-meter in length, the Jest Electric is a low-floor bus. It is equipped with a BMW electric motor that generates 167 hp of power. Having 44 or 88 kWh batteries, the vehicle is capable of an operating range of 210 km. Featuring regenerative braking at a rate of 25 per cent, the bus could be charged in an hour with fast charging units. It could be charged in eight hours with a 7.4 kW charging option, and with AC charging units. Attractive in appearance, the Jest Electric is highly manoeuvrable and offers a large interior space. Boasting of dynamic design, and unparalleled climbing performance, the bus, capable of operating through narrow city streets, is fitted with 10.1-inch multimedia touchscreen, fully digital dashboard, keyless go, and USB ports as well as an optional WiFi compatible infrastructure. It is equipped with a four-wheel independent suspension system. Capable of accommodating up to 22 commuters (9 seated and 13 standing), the e-bus is already in use in France, Germany and Greece. Measuring eight-metre in length, the ATAK Electric midibus looks appealing with its LED daytime running lamps. It features

Jest Electric is a low-floor bus with an operating range of 210km.

a brand-new and dynamic front and rear. Propelled by a 230 kW motor, the bus is supported by five BMW developed 44-kWh batteries. Having an operating range of 300 km, The ATAK Electric could be charged in five hours with AC charging. It could be charged in three hours with a

fast-charging unit. The batteries also profit from the regenerative braking system, which recycles power by up to 25 per cent. Capable of accommodating up to 52 passengers with two seating options, the bus has a GVW of 11,000 kg.

ATAK Electric midibus has an operating range of 300 km.

Commercial Vehicle www.commercialvehicle.in // April 2020


S howtime Bur-Can


n the business of producing passenger CVs for the last 30 years, Bur-Can displayed some of its most promising low-floor, high-glass buses aimed at tourist, inter-city and intra-city applications. These are made at the company’s modern manufacturing facility at Ankara, which measures 10,000 sq. m. of closed area and 4000 sq. m. of open area. Painted in an attractive shade of blue, a premium tourism bus with a seating capacity of 34 people drew the most attention. Laced with a disabled ramp with fixed cover, the bus is built on the new Iveco Daily chassis with a GVW of between 3.5-tonnes and seven-tonnes. Flaunting raised front and side windows, route type plastic seats and specially designed front and rear fascia, the bus also profits from the new Daily’s platform length of between 5560 mm and 7500 mm. Boasting of an additional wheel section, the bus has its front console designed to accommodate payment cards such as Kentkart-Akbil. The antislip floor of the bus has been reinforced, and the trims made of ABS. If the LED lighting system adds to the pleasant ambience inside, the bus is powered by a choice of 210 hp three-litre or a 156 hp 2.3-litre FIC and FIA engine respectively. The 18 people or 23 people premium tourism bus is equipped with a special design tribune ceiling. It flaunts a single front wing door system and is fitted with luxurious and comfortable seats. The seating arrangement is 2x1. Also fitted with a USB adaptable TV and android double radio, the bus could be had


A premium tourism bus with a seating capacity of 34 people drew the most attention.

Premium tourism bus with 16+1+1 and 21+1+1 option.

with a powerful air conditioner. A Webasto passenger heating system is also on offer. Far removed from the luxury angle highlighted by the blue and the other premium tourist bus, the public bus on the Iveco Daily chassis can seat 22 people. It is equipped with a hidden disability lift system for disabled access

Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in

and has line-type comfortable seats. The front and side windows are raised, and the tailgate is specially designed. Other features include a rear parking sensor, analog and split air-con and an additional passenger compartment fan heater. The internal LED lighting systems make the interior appealing.



Refurbished Temsa Safir Plus-Marathon model.

Vintage Mercedes Benz Otomarsan bus.


isplaying a refurbished Temsa Safir PlusMarathon model, two starliner Neoplan bus coaches and a vintage Mercedes Benz Otomarsan bus, Mapar highlighted its penchant for MAN CVs especially. Specialising in servicing as well as refurbishing MAN and Temsa passenger CVs, Mapar operates a gigantic spare parts warehouse in Istanbul. An authorised dealer for MAN Truck and Buses in Bursa and an authorised service outlet for Man Truck and Bus Service at Izmir, Mapar, in the form of the Temsa Safir Plus-Marathon highlighted its ability to service as well as refurbish old and existing CVs. The Safir Plus-Marathon is a modern bus with an aesthetic appearance. Equipped with advanced technological features such as a driver panel offering assistance for longdistance driving and easy handling, the bus has a seating arrangement of 53 + 1 + 1. It is laced with LCD screens and comfortable and wide leather seats. The Starliner Neoplan bus that Mapar displayed is a flagship product based on a MAN platform at the other end. Completely refurbished by Mapar, it has table sitting and a separate conference-like section with a large LED screen. Flaunting interior LED lights, the bus is fitted with a separate toilet section. It also possesses other amenities that have been designed to address the specific needs of the travellers.

The Starliner Neoplan bus that Mapar displayed is a flagship product based on a MAN platform. Commercial Vehicle www.commercialvehicle.in // April 2020


S howtime CanCan


anCan displayed two city buses and one tourist bus built on a MAN and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis. Highly customised, these vehicles are typically urban in their orientation. They highlighted the company’s endeavour to expand its reach in the European market. Targeting the production of more electric vehicles in the next two years, CanCan specialises in the design of ‘VIP’ vehicles and vehicles for disabled people. The company also specialises in auto upholstery, auto accessories and the building of public and corporate vehicles. CanCan is also a group partner CanCan specialises in the design of ‘VIP’ vehicles. (VAN-Partner) to many global brands like Mercedes-Benz.



stablished in Istanbul, Minabus specialises in the designing of passenger commercial vehicle interiors. The company caters to city bus, intercity buses, tourist bus, luxury minibus and disabled-friendly bus segments. Displaying a line van built on Volkswagen Crafter chassis, and a tourism and school bus built on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis, Minabus highlighted its area of work like interior lighting systems, glasses, etc. Produced in accordance with the customer demand for urban transportation, the Line vans that Minabus builds, feature electric outward opening door systems with a cam, M2 certified seat belt seats (three-point), heating systems, and monoblock air conditioners. Aesthetically wellsorted, the vans are had with


interior lighting, floor covering and a luggage rack that is fairly customised to the taste of the operator and end-users. Equipped with sliding doors or electric outward opening doors with an automatic step for diverse application areas, the

Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in

Line vans from Minabus make for interesting design elements, which range from modest to sporty to premium. The interiors are suitably dressed and make for an interesting statement when it comes to addressing different tastes.

A tourism and school bus built by Minabus on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis.




pioneer in the body building sector, the company displayed a midi- and mini-bus built on a Mercedes-Benz and Iveco chassis. The company also displayed a VIP sprinter chassis and a Mercedes-Benz tourer bus with a capacity to accommodate up to 39 people. Powered by a fouror six-cylinder diesel engine, the tourer bus is uniquely designed to offer superior passenger comfort. The bus could be had with an electrical lift solution. Said a source close to the company, that they also offer low floor solutions on chassis of other makes, including DAF.

Iveco i-1800 with four-cylinder diesel engine.

UĞur Karoser


nown to provide minibus conversions and vehicles, Uğur Karoser displayed a minibus each on Mercedes-Benz and Iveco chassis. With a focus on European markets, the company is producing vehicles that are compatible with technologies that

find use in public transportation. The company also produces its own midi-buses on the Iveco chassis. With body building and modification of buses and minibuses as their main activity, Uğur Karoser offers its own-built midi-buses on the Iveco Daily

chassis for tourism, school bus and low-floor applications. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter-based buses they build, find use for tourism, city bus and low-floor applications.

Uğur Karoser displayed a minibus each on Mercedes-Benz and Iveco chassis.

Commercial Vehicle www.commercialvehicle.in // April 2020




ies, c n e i fic se ef ject with u o h ro re t d wa GHTS’ p h interes n a t h muc freig ing the ‘LI g n i v u pro urs at im s been p g n i a Aim cks h CV u r T o Team v l o V

Volvo 60

Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in



eaming up with its fleet customers NFI and Dependable Highway Express to deploy its electric VNR trucks at their California port, Volvo Trucks has highlighted the progress it has achieved in its ambitious Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions (LIGHTS) project by offering a first look at its Class 8 battery-electric project trucks at an exclusive event at TEC Equipment dealership in Fontana, California, recently. The Swedish CV major announced the ambitious project a little more than a year ago, and has been pursuing it with much interest. Aiming at improving freight and warehouse efficiencies, the project is about the demonstration of the ability of battery electric vehicles (EVs) to improve freight and warehouse efficiencies, reduce emissions and improve air quality. Attracting a funding of more than USD 44 million from California Air Resources Board (CARB), according to Volvo Group President and CEO, Martin Lundstedt, Volvo LIGHTS highlights how various stakeholders have joined hands to achieve a common goal in the wake of climate change without bothering about who gets the credit. Claimed to point at how the CV industry will progress hereafter, and in-line with the need to tackle regulatory as well as market requirements, the Volvo LIGHTS project is slated to cross the USD 90 million cost-mark when its achieves what it has set out to achieve. Termed as an initiative that builds against a backdrop of 90 per cent of the Californians breathing unhealthy air during some time of the year, according to CARB board member Barbara Riordan, the LIGHTS project has come in include a total of 15 partners apart from those mentioned above over the course of time. With California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and several transportation and electrical charging infrastructure participants making up the list of 15 stakeholders, the LIGHTS project, taking into consieration that 40 per cent of all imports pass through California’s ports, making it the logical launching point, has got its first five trucks running. Employing technologies that are currently being used in the North American Volvo VNR, the five 113-inch BBC electric VNR tractor models draw from its manufacturer’s experience in electric buses as well. They also gain from Volvo’s ability to sell 4,000 electrified Volvo buses since 2010. Creating mountains of data to ensure refining of Commercial Vehicle www.commercialvehicle.in // April 2020



technologies before commercial production could be initiatied on a higher scale, the five VNR electric trucks are working as an accelerator for a commercial solution, according to a Volvo source. Said Lars Stenqvist, Volvo Group chief technology officer that they are looking at the second phase of electrification. Stressing on the ease of adoption, he averred that the initiative would help Volvo to define the lifecycle and range of the truck’s batteries. Designed to go through two


Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in

generations of batteries before entering production by the end of 2020, the LIGHTS project, it is clear, is targeting short- and regional-haul applications such as heavy urban distribution, drayage and other applications where electric trucks will have the greatest impact at their initial stages. Tapping the speed of battery development, the five VNRs in operation around the Port of Los Angeles feature centermounted dual electric motors with a two-speed gearbox. They

pack what could be termed as a mostly conventional driveline behind the electric powertrain. Having four battery packs, each weighing about 1,150 pounds, the VNRs have a charging port each mounted on the driver’s side. The battery system is designed like a shelf, and enables the packs to be slid in and out for service. The radiator of the truck being fully functional and helping the system to be heated or cooled as per the need to support battery life, the LIGHTS project


The distinctive Volvo headlights with its V-shape gives a decisive yet pleasant light.

includes the deployment of neary 60 chargers with lightand heavy-duty capabilities. The installation of the truck charging infrastructure was handled by Greenlots, a member of the Shell Group and a leader in Electric Vehicle (EV) charging and energy management solutions. It has put heavy-duty fleet charging stations amounting to four in number at warehouses across Southern California. Trillium, at the other end, is in the process of installing two 150kW chargers at a store in Anaheim, according to Volvo sources. It is part of the Love’s Travel Stop company. The two ABB 50 kW DC fast chargers at TEC Equipment’s Fontana dealership installed by Greenlots add to the charging infrastructure. Plans are being drawn up to install an additional 150 kW DC fast charger. With all the charging equipment for the project connected to Greenlots’ SKY EV Charging Network Software, which

enables management of Volvo’s fleet and charging stations while balancing grid demand, the LIGHTS project is set to gain good traction. Looking at how load demand on the electric grid could be balanced since it is turning out to be increasingly important in the wake of the rising number of EVs, the LIGHTS project, during its course of the journey over the last one year, saw the truck maker, TEC Equipment, and other partners work closely in the area of building the charging infrastructure. Looked upon as a project that will also help with rate analysis for customers to understand the costs associated with electrification, and to provide third-party check on vendor claims, the initiative is expected to offer an insight into leveraging solar energy apart from efficient battery storage management. With TEC Equipment serving as a fully certified maintenance hub for the Volvo VNR Electric

project trucks in the South Coast Air Basin, the LIGHTS project is expected to spring 15 battery electric VNR trucks as it progresses. TEC Equipment will look at leasing the trucks to interested customers for realworld trials. It would also offer a critical uptime support team for assistance with parts and service. With fewer mechanical parts and maintenance needs, the LIGHTS project is also expected to help clearly define the maintenance needs of such trucks within a duty-cycle. This is in view of a fundamental shift in business, and how it would affect the CV maker as well as its network. Anticipating a change in the nature of sales and service, the project is expected to provide an insight in the transition of CVs from conventional to electric. Training its product managers, Volvo Trucks is driving training and support programs within its dealer network. It is also refining parts inventory strategies as

Commercial Vehicle www.commercialvehicle.in // April 2020


international new learnings are had. Expected to unleash a huge change in job descriptions and responsibilities at the service level, the LIGHTS project has got Kenny Melancon, a diesel instructor with San Bernardino Valley College involved. In partnership with TEC Equipment and VTNA, he is crafting a curriculum for electric truck technicians. John Frala, a professor from Rio Hondo College is known to have also developed an electric vehicle curriculum in partnership with TEC Equipment. Driving the VNR By Indian standards, the VNR amounts to a big tractor. It is a Class 8 truck of US standards after all. With a bonnet in front, the VNR looks big and powerful. It also offers a glimpse of how a truck of tomorrow is going

The distinctive Volvo headlights with its V-shape gives a decisive yet pleasant light.


Commercial Vehicle April 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in

to evolve. Climb inside, and the truck’s cockpit wraps around the driver. It is simple and straighforward. There’s minimal instrument and the gear shift lever is missing. The clutch pedal is also missing. There’s just two pedals thus. If the D, R and N buttons play the role of the missing gear lever, the parking brake is a prominent yellow knob situated below the instrument panel. Carrying out the same procedure that one would in an EV gets the big tractor going. Engage the brake, engage the D button, release the parking brake and press the accelerator. The truck starts to move. The obvious difference is the height at which the driver is sitting. He or she

is clearly many feet higher than in a typical EV. The big steering is a stark giveaway that this is an electric truck and not just any other EV. The pneumatic seat bounces up and down a little as the truck gathers momentum. Deriving from Volvo’s long running experience of building big semis for intrastate and interstate long-haul, the VNR electric is meant to do regional work. So it is more dock

International oriented for sure. Throttle response is linear and devoid of any nasty surprises. Smooth and silent in its drive, the truck does not extend of any shift sensation. Sharing much of its frame, cab, and running gear with the regular VNR series, the electric truck is also devoid of the usual sounds of regeneration with the motors positioned far below. Account the slow steering and the higher seating, and the CV does not feel much different from that of the conventional VNR truck. An abundance of regenerative braking is delivered

by the dual motor drivetrain when the need to cut down on speed arises. Braking action is strong and inspires confidence. While regenerative braking is customisable in four steps via a steering column mounted stalk, the VNR electric is essentially a ‘mid-engine’ truck. Producing 536 hp peak power and 349 hp on a continuous basis, the truck has its motors spinning at up to 10,000 rpm. Compared to the redline of 2,000 rpm of the VNR diesel truck, this marks a big departure. The conventional looking nose housing a radiator to cool various parts

of the system, the truck has its underhood area utilised for power electronics that manage 400-volt DC charging and supply the needs of the 600volt electric motor and batteries. The CCS charge port is located on the driver’s side just below the cabin step. Four battery packs hang in pairs off each side of the frame rails, with space for two more – if needed – behind the cab. Each pack is rated at 66 kWh, of which 50 kWh is usable. The exact range of the VNR electric is not being revealed by Volvo yet. The working range for the LIGHTS project, according to a Volvo source, is between 75 and 175 miles. A round trip to the port is about 125 miles, with an empty downhill run to the port and a loaded uphill run back to the warehouse district.

Commercial Vehicle www.commercialvehicle.in // April 2020



Matador does the trick


ealising the big family transporter concept of the yesteryears, and presenting it to the present day audience that would have all but forgotten about it, a Bajaj Tempo Matador plays a cameo yet interesting role in the Bollywood movie Golmaal 3. Painted in a shade of red, yellow and green, the van nicely supports the comedy roles played by Ajay Devgan, Kareena Kapoor and Mithun Chakraborty. With the plot of the movie presenting Mithun Chakraborty as the head of the family who drives the Matador, Golmaal 3 also projects his adopted children. There’s Arshad Warsi, Kunal Khemu and Tushar Kapoor. Chakraborty has love interest in Ratna Pathak who has two adopted sons played by Shreyas Talpade and Ajay Devgan. The plot also includes Kareena Kapoor who plays a love interest of Devgan. A typical love and hate relationship evolves over time between the youngsters as Chakraborty and Pathak make many efforts to unite, and get their sons to come to live together as a family. Hiding after stealing a queen’s necklace, Johnny Lever takes shelter in Chakraborty’s house. He forgets about hiding the necklace there. When he eventually remembers, he turns up at Chakraborty’s house with his associates. A chase scene follows where Chakraborty manages to hand Lever and the necklace over to the cops with the use of the Matador.


Commercial Vehicle APRIL 2020 // www.commercialvehicle.in

Tracing its roots back to German Tempo Viking of 1962, Matador was introduced after the oil crisis of 1973. The Matador F307 was available in six versions (station wagon, mini bus, ambulance, delivery van, utility van and dual cabin pick up truck). Built initially under license from Vidal & Sohn by erstwhile Bajaj Tempo (new Force Motors), the Matador, over time came to be powered by an in-line four cylinder indirect injection Mercedes-Benz OM 616 diesel engine that produced 65 hp and 125.52 Nm of peak torque. Before Traveller came in the market Matador was ruling the segment for two to three decades. A front-wheel drive design except during the later phase when a rear-wheel range was made available. With the body bolted to a strong tubular frame consisting of cross members, the F307 was equipped with a ZF 4DS10/2 type fourspeed gearbox. The front suspension was made up of laminated torsion bar springs and telescopic shock absorbers. The rear suspension was made up of leaf springs and telescopic shock absorbers. The fullforward control van has a 190 mm ground clearance.

RNI No. MAHENG/2006/20842

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