MAN CLA Bus Chassis 18.250 (4×2), 22.300 (6×2) Launched

MAN CLA BS IV Bus Chassis

BS IV-compliant bus chassis features front-mounted engine; designed for inter-city applications. 

MAN Trucks India has introduced the new ‘CLA’ bus chassis range that is now BS IV compliant. This includes two bus models – 18.250 (4×2) and 22.300 (6×2) multi-axle. The company has partnered with three leading bus body builders in India, including the MG Group who came up with MAN-MG Mammoth buses. The chassis are assembled at MAN Trucks’ manufacturing plant in Pithampur, Madhya Pradesh.

Also Read: MAN CLA EVO 49.300 6×4 & 31.300 8×4 ‘EXPEDITION’

The CLA bus chassis are designed for intercity coach application. A robust structure using tried and tested components in the chassis and driveline create the prerequisites for high reliability and longer product life, claims MAN. With the Central Government according greater priority to building new highways across the country for faster connectivity, intercity bus travel is expected to get a further boost. Operators are demanding for new solutions that offer attractive value proposition to help bring in more passengers.

MG Mammoth
MAN Trucks India has partnered with three leading bus body builders in India, including the MG Group.

The new CLA BS IV bus chassis are powered by MAN D-0836 turbo-charged, inter-cooled common rail direct inject system engines that comes in two power outputs – 250 hp and 300 hp. It is paired to a 6-speed manual transmission. Superior power delivery and linear torque provide powerful acceleration starting even at low engine speeds are assured by the manufacturer. To meet BS IV requirements, MAN has opted for SCR technology, thereby making the engine fuel efficient, environment friendly and more reliable.

As far as passenger safety and comfort is concerned, air actuated drum brakes and anti-lock braking system (ABS) are expected to improve braking safety and driving stability. The retarder and the patented engine valve brake from MAN provide enhanced braking efficiency and improved brake life.The New CLA BSIV chassis have been designed to incorporate the full range of comfort and safety at the driver’s workplace, in turn, making the journey much safer even under tough operating conditions.

Also Read: MAN Lion´s Coach (Next-Generation) – 2017 Busworld Europe


MAN-MG Mammoth – Image Gallery

Tata Motors Genuine Oils for Trucks and Buses

Tata Trucks Genuine Oil

Claims to offer superior quality, performance, and longer aggregate life. 

Tata Motors has launched the exclusive ‘Tata Motors Genuine Oil’ range consisting of engine oil, gear oil, and rear axle oil for its entire range of commercial vehicles. The company claims that the superior quality of these multi-purpose oils are suitable for the new-generation engines, and will help customers achieve better performance.

Also Read: Antifreeze Coolant and Brake Fluid: “Fluid” Health of Automobiles

Tata Motors Genuine Oils are exclusively available across 1400 Tata Motors CVBU-authorized workshops. Formulated and tested for Tata vehicles, the branded oils have been developed as per regulations and specifications required for the Indian commercial vehicles market. The oils are available in four variants as follows:

Tata Genuine Oil Trucks Buses

  • Tata Motors Genuine engine oil CI4+ 15W40 & CH4 15W40 – Priced at Rs. 185/- per Ltr. this is a range of multi-purpose diesel engine oil for new generation engines with long drain intervals and is suitable for mixed fleet operations.
  • Tata Motors Genuine gear oil 80W90 LL – Priced at Rs. 210/- per Ltr. this has been especially formulated for new generation synchromesh transmission performing under rugged terrains with extended oil intervals.
  • Tata Motors Genuine rear axle oil 80W140 LL – Priced at Rs. 240/- per Ltr. this is a heavy duty multi grade oil especially formulated with extended oil drain intervals for axels performing under tough circumstances with higher operating temperatures.

Also Read: Tyre Management For Lower Costs of Trucking

MAN CLA EVO 49.300 6×4 & 31.300 8×4 ‘EXPEDITION’ Review

MAN CLA EVO 49.300 6x4 & 31.300 8x4

The MAN CLA EVO range of medium and heavy duty trucks are aimed at the ‘Value’ bulk-cargo transportation in the domestic market. I took part in MAN Trucks India’s ‘Expedition’ campaign as a part of its eleventh anniversary celebrations to read the load hauling-cum-cruising capabilities and cabin dynamics of the trucks.

Expeditions are undertaken for both purpose and pleasure. When I received an invitation from MAN Trucks to participate in a road tour with their haulage trucks, I was excited. Since the expedition was a comprehensive one, spanning over 51 days and 9,000 kms across three different paths covering the length and breadth of Indian mainland, I must pick a moment in the trail to be pragmatic. To my convenience, I chose the 160 kilometer Coimbatore to Namakkal stretch in one of the expedition route en route MAN’s Pithampur plant, the one from Kochi via Chennai and Vijayawada.

Two other teams are scheduled to start from Pune and Dhanbad respectively in a similar vein to reach the destination, I was told. The ultimate purpose of these expeditions is to demonstrate the superiority of the CLA EVO cargo truck series in long-haulage applications across different terrains of India to the market audience. All through the journey, the trucks are to stop at key transport hubs, motels, and dealerships on the way to convey the message.

Also Read: MAN CLA EVO 25.300 And 49.300 (6×4) – Tech Specifications, Review

It was 6 am, hazy weather, when I reported at MAN dealership at Coimbatore. Awaiting me were MAN CLA 49.300 EVO 6×4 tractor with a 40 ft. TSI trailer and 31.300 EVO 8×4 rigid hauler, along with the expedition team. Both the trucks are jacked-up with the rated payload, and will be driven only by trained ‘Master Drivers’ all through the expedition, so all I had to do was to cuddle myself to a co-driver seat of the trucks.

Design wise, the ‘EVO’ suffix to the MAN CLA cargo trucks does spruce-up its largely conservative looks. The redesigned dull-black bumper now boasts fresh headlamp units with daytime running lights. The ‘Lion’ in the brand logo is missing, but the MAN lettering under a chrome housing looks more pronounced. The custom blue paint scheme with attractive graphics made the expedition trucks more pleasing.

MAN CLA EVO 31.300
With 300 hp power on tap, the MAN CLA 31.300 EVO 8×4 rigid truck is one of the powerful hauler one can buy in India.

On the inside, the cabin and dashboard layout remains utilitarian. Both the driver and co-driver seats are air suspended, while the former gets 3-way adjustment. There are ample storage compartments in the dashboard and over-head rack, while the cabin is adequately spacious. The steering wheel is great to hold, and the column features height and rake adjustment. Both expedition trucks were equipped with cruise control and HVAC system with effective blowers, which literally made the day travel bearable.

The suspended cabin did filter-out a great deal engine heat and road noise. Road vibrations were partly taken care by suspended seats. Although, the ride was still bumpy, especially the tractor-trailer, but that was expected. Nevertheless, I must say that the MAN CLA trucks are a huge leap from basic trucks that are the norm of the haulage industry. Rightly termed as value trucks, these are kind of semi-premium offering that are fast-catching up in the industry. They strike a balance between affordability and premium comfort.

Also Read: Mahindra Blazo HCV Truck Range – Tech Specifications, Review

But what impressed me was the cruising abilities of these trucks. The 31.300 rigid truck, in particular, was simply brisk enough to make overtakes and pursual in highways, without any harsh acceleration and gearshifts as such. It was also partly the master driver who was behind the wheel of this truck, he kept up right rpm and managed gearshifts cleverly, so as maintain constant acceleration and speeds. In the 49.300 tractor, the drivers smartly used the Exhaust Valve Brake (EVB) for all anticipated slow-downs and while descending down flyover slopes, thereby averting regular braking which would otherwise demand a gear down-shift. This way they can maintain constant speed and lower fuel consumption. Although the trucks can hit speeds up to 80 kmph max, drivers of both the vehicles did not breach 60 kmph mark so as to register optimum fuel efficiency throughout the trip. In addition, the cruise control feature equipped in both the trucks helped their cause as well. Oh yeah, this whole expedition is to prove some point, right?

MAN CLA 49.300 EVO 6x4 T
MAN CLA 49.300 EVO 6×4 tractor is now equipped with heavy-duty Bogie type suspension with planetary tandem bogie rear axle to save costs. 

Powering the CLA EVO trucks is a 6.9-litre, in-line 6-cylinder, MAN D-0836 engine with a turbo-charger and intercooler. Mated to a 9-speed ZF synchromesh gearbox, the engine generates a healthy 300 hp power in both the expedition trucks. This time, the company has added 250 hp variant in its engine range for the buyers to choose as well. MAN Trucks have earned a great reputation in the Indian market for their reliable engine and longer life, even touching 1 million kms in odo-reading! I could feel that all through the ride, the engine felt refined at all speeds, with lower NVH levels.

We cruised like a pro in the NH 544 Coimbatore-Salem expressway up to Komarapalayam. It’s time for some narrow district roads now, I was a bit skeptical too. I know this upcoming stretch very well, full of twists and turns, including a railway level crossing with a height gauge! But both the trucks took the challenging road with ease, steered through the clumsiness of the town traffic of Tiruchengode, and reached the destination Namakkal, the ‘truck town’ of South India, by noon. I bid adieu to the trucks later with a sense of contentment. It was a good trip!

Also Read: Tata Signa Truck Range (MHCV) – Tech Specifications, Review

The tipper segment has been MAN’s forte all these years. But with improved potentials, especially post GST where inter-state and long-distance hauling is expected to get huge boosts, the company is eager to penetrate into the cargo segment. Plus, it has a very vibrant range of haulage trucks in the 16 to 49 tonne category that needs no formal intro. With improved fuel efficiency and lower TCO of these trucks in BS IV livery, the CLA EVO makes an appealing proposition for long-distance haulers.


MAN CLA EVO 49.300 6×4 & 31.300 8×4 – Image Gallery


SPEC FOCUS – MAN CLA EVO Haulage Series (BS IV)

49.300 EVO 6×4 tractor 31.300 EVO rigid truck
Engine Dl, Turbo-charged Intercooled

MAN D-0836, 6.9-litres

Output Max Power: 300 hp @ 2,300 rpm

Max Torque: 1,150 Nm @ 1200-1800 rpm

Transmission ZF 9-speed synchromesh gearbox
Front Axle Heavy-Duty Drop forged I-Beam type, Maintenance free Hub Bearings Heavy Duty Drop Forged I-Beam type, Maintenance free Hub Bearings
Rear Axle MAN Planetary Tandem Bogie with Hub Reduction, Inter Axle and Stabilizer Bar Fully floating single speed Hypoid Axle
Front Suspension Semi Elliptical Leaf springs with Double Acting Shock Absorbers Semi Elliptical Leaf springs with Double Acting Shock absorbers.
Rear Suspension Heavy Duty Bogie type suspension Bell Crank Type Suspension
Brakes S-Cam, Dual-Circuit, Air-actuated Drum Brakes with ABS
Engine Brake MAN Exhaust Valve Brake (EVB)
Inter-axle Differential Lock Yes Nil
Cruise Control Yes

*An edited version of this article has been published in the January 2018 edition of MotorIndia Magazine.

Electric Vehicles: Future Roadmap for India

Electric Cars Roadmap India

The International Conference on “Electric Vehicles: Future Roadmap for India” was jam packed with industry experts sharing their thoughts on India’s readiness and adoption of electro-mobility, and also on procedural troubles in realizing the ultimate vision of the auto industry going emission-free.

As the entire globe is moving towards electric mobility in a big way, with technological push by the industry and incentives provided by governments for their faster adoption, the Indian automotive industry is at the cross-roads now. Electric mobility is not just a technological shift, but warrants a comprehensive introspection of how mobility is being perceived by the industry and society, and kindles whole new imaginations and possibilities on its entire supply chain and business models altogether. It is expected to be disruptive like never before. To ride this transformative wave in a smooth and sustainable fashion, Indian auto industry and governments must embrace an innovative and pragmatic approach based on our own market scenario, per-capita income, purchasing power, and strategic social development goals.

In this regard, three key documents (or rather approaches) that outline India’s agenda and policy needs to adopt electric mobility constitute the baseline for any discussions and debates on the matter for now. First one is the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 (2013), which aims to usher in 7 million EVs on Indian roads by 2020. The second document is the NITI Aayog’s transformative mobility report (2017) that sets out shared-connected-electric mobility approach, by which 100% public transport vehicles and 40% of private vehicles are to become all-electric by 2030. Lastly, the SIAM’s white paper on electric vehicles (December 2017) that aims to achieve new vehicle sales in the country to be 100 percent pure electric vehicles (BEV and FCV) on the 100th anniversary of India’s independence, i.e. 2047.

Also Read: Sustainable Mobility: A Global Vision In Indian Context

In a bid to elicit more clarity on India’s blueprint for adoption of EVs, ASSOCHAM recently organized a one-day International Conference on “Electric Vehicles: Future Roadmap for India” on 19th December, 2017 at New Delhi. It offered all important stakeholders a common platform to deliberate around EVs in India, and debated on what is the right way or approach to EV adoption in the country. Speaking at the inaugural session, Mr. R S Kalsi, Chairman of ASSOCHAM National Council on Auto and Auto Ancillaries, observed that the EV transformation in the auto industry is a global certainty and is already happening, but “Indian industry cannot afford to watch the trend and assimilate as we did in previous technology revolutions, but be an active player to gain strategic leverage.

Chicken or Egg Conundrum

Speakers at the conference agreed that India being one of the largest producer ICE vehicles should take lead in EV vehicle and component manufacturing. Yet, to gain through the EV revolution, most of them consented that the industry and government should be ‘technology-agnostic’ as pure-electrics are not the only and cost-effective means to cut fuel imports and vehicular emissions in the country. Both the customers and the automakers should have enough leeway to make logical choices that is affordable, practical, and sustainable.

Reflecting a similar tone, Mr. Rahul Bharti, Senior Vice President, Maruti Suzuki India Limited, vouched for Hydrogen Fuel cell technology along with battery-electrics as a practical answer to zero-emission mobility debates. On local manufacturing of EVs, he argued for a ‘360-degree approach’ that is “consumer-centric and environmentally sustainable, by taking into account safety and recycling aspects of battery technologies, and also involving economies of scale by taking-up cell-level manufacturing to sustain the business”.

EVs in India

However, what is going to be the stakeholders opening move? Which should come first – EV manufacturing or the charging infrastructure? Will more and more EVs on road push for its charging ecosystem, or should the automakers wait for the EV infrastructure to mature enough to sustain their new products? “Creating an infrastructure that is future-proof is the key to this conundrum” said Dr. K.N. Sreevatsa, Vice President, ABB Limited. “It’s safe to follow global standards while making essential learnings and tweaking to local requirements, wherein some standardization and consolidation will help industry to brisk up EV production” he added.

“The catch-22 situation on EVs and infrastructure demands proper problem definition” observed Dr. K. Balasubramanian, Director, NFTDC. Technology is ‘knowledge integration’ he said, adding that affordable and efficient EV technologies can be locally developed and pooled together to overcome capital expenditure and initial ownership costs. Adding to the discussion, Mr. Debi Prasad Dash, Director of India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) stressed on high-levels of localization as vital for EV boom in the Indian market, more so in the battery technologies, wherein certain local alternatives to Li-ion that are affordable and capable yet to be tried-out by the industry.

Buses and Masses

“Electric mobility should become the technology of the masses to be sustainable” opined Ms. Akshima Ghate, Associate Director – Transport and Urban Governance, TERI. Asserting that buses are critical to every energy and emission debates, she added that any roadmap on EV adoption in India must look at the institutional capacities of the STUs that run public transport in majority. Ms. Ghate also brought into discussion the importance of urban freight in EV debates, as an integral aspect of e-mobility vision.

Mr. Nishant Arya, Executive Director of JBM Group, from a bus maker point-of-view, underscored the product viability gap of electric buses as key deterrent to market adoption. Yet, he was positive that both the industry and government is moving in the right direction towards promotion of e-buses. He stressed on the need for stable fiscal incentives for buyers and export incentives for bus makers to make India a manufacturing hub.

Electric buses

Nevertheless, speakers concurred that India’s EV roadmap has to be pragmatic and realistic. Commenting on the ‘pure-electrics-only’ model that is dominating the future mobility discourses, Mr. Ashok Taneja, MD and CEO of Shriram Pistons and Rings Limited, said that the industry and government has to take into account a multitude of factors including per-capita costs of electrics, their efficiency, and access to masses. “None of us are opposed to EV shift, but the transition has to be a well-thought out, organic and practical”, he asserted, while asking the industry and governments to rationally view alternative fuels and hybrids in the Indian context.

Also Read: Electric Buses: Local and Affordable Solutions using Lead-Acid Batteries?

In a similar view, Mr. Vikram Gulati, Vice President, Toyota Kirloskar Motors, observed that no ‘one-fits-all’ approach can help the Indian case, and highlighted the need for a ‘family of EV technologies’ to realize the zero-emission vision in the upcoming decades. Mr. Vishvajit Sahay, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, advocated a ‘calibrated approach’ for the auto industry to make the EV transition a successful endeavor.

On the whole, the international conference called for a ‘paradigmatic shift’ in the way industry and governments consider mobility solutions. At the same time, the experts agreed that Indian has to act cautiously with a rational and technology-agnostic approach, so as to sustainably serve the mobility needs of Indian society during the transition.


*An edited version of this article has been published in the January 2018 edition of MotorIndia Magazine.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Sleet Edition for your Expeditions!

Royal Enfield Himalayan Sleet Tourer

Features standard ‘Explorer Kit’ and water-resistant panniers; production limited to 500 units.

Royal Enfield has added yet another iteration to its ‘Himalayan’ adventurer tourer range – the ‘Sleet’ snow camouflage edition for those buyers who rejoice the spirit of expeditions. The special edition is priced at INR 2,12,666, on-road price, Chennai. The online registration is already live now, and the sale date for the motorcycle is 30th January 2018.

Also Read: Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Debuts

Visually, the snow-themed camouflaged paint job is attractive, especially for touring bikes like Himalayan. The Sleet model comes with the ‘Explorer Kit’ as a standard fitment, along with off-road style cross-brace aluminium handlebar and an engine guard. The mounting rails in the bike can hold 26 litre capacity panniers each, while the panniers are made of aluminium and are water-resistant. Extra protection to handle-bar in terms of end weight has been enabled.

Royal Enfield Himalayan Sleet Explorer edition
2018 Royal Enfield Himalayan Sleet Edition is limited to only 500 units in the Indian market.

Rest of the mechanical and tech specs are same as the regular Himalayan. The engine is a 411 cc air-cooled, single pot SOHC unit that is fuel-injected. It is housed inside a half-duplex split cradle frame. Paired to a 5-speed gearbox, the engine generates 24.5 bhp of max power at 6,500 rpm, and 32 Nm of peak torque at 4,250 rpm. The bike is suspended with 41 mm telescopic fork in the front wheel and a mono-shock with linkage at the rear.

Also Read: Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 Revealed

The Himalayan Sleet edition is around INR 28,000 expensive than the regular variant. The exclusive edition also enjoys 2-year warranty as the other models from the brand. The Sleet takes on Kawasaki Versys-X 300 in the local market.

Next, would you like to read more on Royal Enfield?


2018 Royal Enfield Himalayan ‘Sleet’ Edition – Image Gallery

LNG in India: Automotive Fuel Revolution?

Tata LNG Bus India

India has to work out a ‘cleaner’ approach to Auto LNG, by locally developing renewable gas. 

Europe is already surging ahead with Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) or Biogas (renewable natural gas) for commercial vehicles. In India too, a lot of action is taking place in the LNG scene. Just last August, Union Government has notified revised gas cylinder norms for LNG stations, which is aimed to help establish a storage and supply chain for refueling stations through ‘daughter trucks’, just like for CNG stations in Delhi.

Also Read: Volvo FM, FH LNG-powered Trucks on par with Diesels

Home-grown Tata Motors has taken the lead interest in LNG, with the debut of country’s first LNG-powered Tata Marcopolo LNG Bus (LPO 1613) in Kerala late last year. In fact, the company was the first OEM here to come up with gas-run heavy truck Prima 4032.S LNG, displayed at 2014 Auto Expo. Eco-friendliness and soft price make it a compelling alternative fuel for the company. LNG is also cheaper than diesel by nearly 40 per cent and almost 15 per cent dearer than CNG as well.

Tata Prima LNG Trucks
Tata Motors displayed this Prima 4032.S LNG-powered truck way back in 2014.

It is also reported that other domestic CV makers including Ashok Leyland, Mahindra, and BharatBenz are developing LNG variants of their products. Scania, for instance, has already introduced ED95 engine series (Euro 4 compliant) in its products that can run almost completely on bio-fuels including Bio-CNG. In the supply side of the LNG, India’s largest importer of LNG Petronet, and Reliance Petroleum have expressed their interest in offering LNG at fuel stations.

Also Read: LNG as alternative fuel for Trucking: Europe takes the lead

Yet, the LNG dialogues happening in India are solely related to conventional natural gas that are non-renewable and purely imported. There is a need for a much `cleaner´ approach to auto LNG, by encouraging local and commercial production of Bio-methane. Both the government and the auto industry has to work together in this regard, so as to extract the real `eco´ benefits of using LNG on CVs.

Next, would you like to read more on LNG fuel?


*An edited version of this article has been published in the January 2018 edition of MotorIndia Magazine.

LNG as alternative fuel for Trucking: Europe takes the lead

LNG-powered Volvo FM and FH range of trucks introduced in Europe.

Amid all electrification debates in the transportation sector, global CV makers are stepping-up their ‘gas’ pedals to mitigate climate impacts of the trucking industry! They are betting high on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) or Biogas (renewable natural gas) as a pragmatic alternative to conventional diesel for heavy regional and long-haul trucking operations, especially in Europe. The proponents claim that LNG offers considerable environmental and public health benefits with 20 percent lower CO2 emissions than diesel, even up to 100 percent emission cut by using Bio-LNG, thereby realizing sustainable, eco-friendly haulage. It also promises reduced nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, with virtually no particulate emissions, while LNG-powered engines are said to be significantly quieter than conventional diesels.

Volvo Trucks, for instance, has recently unveiled the first-ever gas powered truck in the European market. The company is now working together with gas suppliers and customers to expand LNG infrastructure in Europe. “With EU making more stringent regulation on CO2 figures for heavy vehicles, we see a clear possibility for increasing LNG market shares as a vital part of the solution to lower emissions” notes Lars Mårtensson, Director of Environment and Innovation at Volvo Trucks.

Also Read: Volvo FM, FH LNG-powered Trucks on par with Diesels

Volkswagen Group Logistics, together with Scania, is also in favor of promoting LNG as a truck fuel. It has revealed that more than 100 LNG trucks are to be used on the roads of north Germany in future as a commitment towards sustainable logistics. It is in dialogue with gas suppliers to construct LNG refueling stations in the region. Scania claims that its LNG powertrain, apart from 20-90 percent less CO2 than diesel engines depending on the choice of fuel, emit some 95 percent less NOx. Particulate emissions during combustion are virtually completely avoided by up to 95 percent, while the noise levels are curbed by about 50 percent (-3 db), according to the truck maker.

Italy-based IVECO, one of the pioneer of natural gas transportation in the industry, has also introduced Stralis NP (Natural Power) 460 hp truck for long-haul operations. The brand claims up to 95 percent cut in CO2 emissions by using compressed or liquefied biomethane as fuel. The company already supports a running parc of 22,000 natural gas vehicles across Europe.

IVECO Stralis NP LNG Truck
With 8.7-litre, 400 hp LNG engine, Iveco’s new Stralis NP offers 7% reduction in TCO as against diesel trucks

Conventional Natural Gas is fossil fuel-derived, predominantly made up of methane (CH4). Alternatively, Renewable Natural Gas (RNG), a.k.a Bio-methane or Biogas, can be produced from renewable means like decaying organic materials or bio-waste. But, to be used as a transportation fuel, the natural gas has to be either compressed (CNG) or liquefied (LNG). Notably, the primary source of natural gas determines its `cleaner´ credentials. Both the alternative fuels (CNG and LNG) can be locally produced, even costs less than diesel in many European countries and in India as well. Although CNG is widely used for passenger cars and buses, LNG meets the longer range requirements of trucks, as liquid is denser than gas (CNG) and, so, more energy can be stored by volume in a given tank. Further, the carrying capacity of vehicles powered by the LNG is 2.5 times more than that of CNG.

Also Read: Tata Marcopolo LNG Bus (LPO1613) – Tech Specs, Details

Energy experts opine that long-term availability and commercial viability of natural gas is excellent in a global level. Biogas, for instance, thus far has been only produced in limited quantities across the globe. With more and more gas-run products coming up, the locally production of the alternative fuel can be amplified in every market. “All told, this makes liquefied gas the best widely available climate alternative on the market for long and heavy transports. What is needed now is gas-powered trucks that can compete with diesel in terms of performance and fuel consumption, and continued expansion of LNG infrastructure. In both cases major progress has been achieved,” observes Mårtensson of Volvo Trucks.


*An edited version of this article has been published in the January 2018 edition of MotorIndia Magazine.

Tata Motors: 26 Smart Mobility solutions at Auto Expo 2018

To debut the next-generation IMPACT Design 2.0 for passenger vehicles. 

Tata Motors has revealed its big plans for the upcoming Auto Expo 2018, Greater Noida. The company will be demonstrating its prowess by presenting mobility solutions under the theme ‘Smart Mobility, Smart Cities’ at its pavilion at Hall No 14.

The company says that it committed to support Government of India’s vision to build smart cities, where everything is part of a connected eco-system. With its end-to-end integrated mobility solutions across commercial and passenger vehicles, Tata Motors is in a unique position to play a complimentary role in the smart cities of the future. From public transport to personal cars, from last mile connectivity to BRTS, from emergency response vehicles to commercial utility vehicles, from green and sustainable solutions to vehicles designed to simply amplify the thrill of the drive – Tata Motors has a product portfolio, connecting aspirations and every need of the discerning customers.

Tata Motors will showcase 26 smart mobility solutions across its passenger and commercial vehicles brought alive in a specially curated theme across the pavilion. Giving a sneak peek into the future with global premiere of some key models, the company will also reveal its new design language – IMPACT Design 2.0 in passenger vehicles. In commercial vehicles too, the automaker is set to redefine some segments, with design that reflects a sense of purpose coupled with strength and quality.

The ‘Smart Mobility’ pavilion of Tata Motors is divided into captivating and interactive zones like Residential zone, Sports zone, Smart Energy zone, Inter and Intracity zone. These zones with its digital engagements around the product exhibits will provide customers an engaging experience across the pavilion.

Also Read: Tata Motors demos Electronic Stability Control (ESC) in Prima, Signa

The year 2018 is a landmark year for Tata Group as it celebrates 150 years of nation building. As part of this journey, Tata Motors in its own way has been making significant contributions for the last 7 decades. The 2018 Auto Expo will make it more special as it marks a momentous occasion in Tata Motors’ journey towards developing Smart Mobility Solutions, connecting aspirations of its customers along the way.

Volvo FM, FH LNG-powered Trucks on par with Diesels

Volvo LNG-powered Trucks

Volvo is coordinating gas suppliers and customers to expand LNG infrastructure in Europe. 

Volvo Trucks has introduced Euro-6 compliant heavy duty trucks running on liquefied natural gas or biogas in the European market. The trucks will be offered in 420 or 460 hp power ratings with gross vehicle weights of up to 64 tonnes. The new Volvo FM LNG and Volvo FH LNG will go on sale in the first half of 2018.

Also Read: Europe’s Roadmap To Double Annual CO2 Reduction Rate

Interestingly, the new gas-run trucks have the same performance, driveability and fuel consumption as its diesel counterparts, making it practicable and economical for heavy-duty haulage. The 460 hp LNG engine delivers a maximum torque of 2,300 Nm, while the 420 hp unit generates 2,100 Nm – same as the diesel powertrains. Volvo´s new LNG powertrain uses the Diesel cycle technology in place of Otto cycle engine that is traditionally used for gas-run engines, thereby ensuring no compromise in power and torque output. The SCR and particulate filter are in place for exhaust after-treatment.

Volvo LNG Trucks
Volvo gas-run trucks match the performance, driveability and fuel consumption of its diesel counterparts, making it practicable and economical for heavy-duty haulage

To extend the driving range, the LNG is stored in cryogenic state at 4-10 bar pressure at a temperature of -140 to -125 °C inside the tank. Volvo offers tank capacity for a range of up to 1,000 km. Re-fuelling time is no different as the diesel. On drive, the fuel has to be warmed up to gas form to be injected into the engine. In order to ignite the gas, a tiny quantity of diesel is added at the moment of injection. To gain absolute eco-compatibility, Volvo is presenting HVO (Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils) for this purpose in place of conventional diesel.

Also Read: Nikola One Hydrogen Fuel Cell Truck Generates 1,000 hp

Next, would you like to read more on Volvo Trucks and Buses?


Volvo FH, FM LNG Trucks – Image Gallery

Photos Credit: Volvo Trucks


*An edited version of this article has been published in the January 2018 edition of MotorIndia Magazine.

Why Fiat Punto Failed Euro NCAP Crash Test?

Fiat Punto Euro NCAP Crash Test

The deplorable crash performance of the aging car reflects that the driver aid techs and crash safety standards have gone up in recent years.

The crash test of 2017 Fiat Punto by Euro NCAP earlier this month was unprecedented, for both the Italian brand and the testing agency. Fiat is renowned for its solid-built and well-engineered cars, but its popular supermini hatchback has performed strangely bad in the latest crash test results. Embarrassingly, the third-gen Punto has snipped the needless limelight by becoming the first car to score zero rating in Euro NCAP. What’s gone wrong? Is it out of Fiat’s wrongdoing, or the independent crash tests becoming irrelevant and less pragmatic?

Also Read: 2019 Fiat Cronos (X6S) Sedan (Linea Successor)

Let’s delve a little further into the test results first. The crash tested model is a 2017 Fiat Punto 1.2 Easy variant (5-door) that weighs 1,030 kgs and equipped with dual frontal airbags, front seat belt pretensioner and loadlimiter as standard fitment. The result document summarizes the car’s passenger safety performance in four aspects – Adult occupant protection rated at 51 percent, Child occupant protection at 43 percent, Pedestrian protection pegged at 52 percent, and Safety assist (driver aid technologies) at zero percent. The test findings are applicable for all other variants of the Punto, Euro NCAP adds.

In terms of adult occupant protection, the frontal offset test has apparently revealed that Punto’s passenger compartment has remained stable. The knee and femur protection for both the driver and front passenger was good, but dashboard structures seem to present risk of injury. Protection of driver has been rated good for all critical body regions. Passenger’s chest protection was rated marginal, but weak for rear occupant. Front seats and head restraint tests have proved poor whiplash protection during rear-end collision. Lack of head-protection airbag for passengers in Punto meant that the side pole test was not performed.

Absence of i-size compatible seats reflects compromised child occupant safety. The agency has used 10 year and 6 year dummies to assess the protection levels. The head, neck, and chest protection of 10 year dummy was rated either poor or marginal, while the car earned ‘good’ for the other dummy. For pedestrian, the protection offered by the bonnet to his/ her head was predominantly poor or weak, although good in places. The
bumper provided good protection to the legs and pelvis area. The absence of any safety assist features was a huge let down, the Punto earning zero points in this particular category.

Critical Inference

Born in 2005, the Fiat Punto is a twelve-year old model that has seen very marginal design and equipment revision all these years. It was neither replaced with newer model in many global markets, as the brand was busy adopting a new “two-pronged model” approach, especially for Europe. This age factor is perhaps the major cause for the car’s feeble crash safety performance, as the Punto could not match the pace at which the industry standards on safety and willingness on part of manufacturers to offer safety package have gone up. In fact, the Punto has been rated 5-star in adult protection way back in 2005 by Euro NCAP, and 3-stars for both child occupant and pedestrian protection. As Michiel van Ratingen, NCAP’s secretary general, has rightly pointed out, the Punto is a classic example of a product that is sold well past its “best-before date at the expense of the unsuspecting buyer”.

Also Read: Why Mahindra Scorpio Failed Global NCAP Crash Test?

The Punto has still fairly performed in this crash test, but in an “old-school” fashion. The body shell has remained intact, there was hardly any structural deficiency, and the driver protection was earnest. But in the last decade, a lot of importance is given to crash avoidance as a basic tenet of crash safety in the Euro NCAP. This calls for active safety technologies like Blind Spot detection, Speed Alert, Lane Assist, and Autonomous Emergency Braking. The industry’s adoption towards such new standards is also evident. For instance, Fiat Punto’s rival cars in Europe like Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo, and Seat Ibiza are all equipped with such driver assistance features as standard fitment. Fiat does not even offer these techs as optional feature in Punto, and the only standard equipment offered is a seat-belt reminder! This stark tech divide not in sync with the present-day safety norms has penalised the Fiat Punto’s rating to a great extent.

Fiat Punto Euro NCAP Crash Test
Fiat Punto has fairly performed in the crash test, but in an “old-school” fashion not in sync with the transforming safety standards.

Of course, we already knew that a modern replacement for the Punto hatch is already out – the Fiat Argo. In Europe, FCA is promoting the new Tipo 5-door as a premium alternative, so it is likely that they may pull-off the Punto very soon. But watch out, the devil is in developing markets, especially India, where there is hardly any announcements on the car’s replacement with a modern hatch in near future. On the contrary, Fiat India continues to offer multiple iterations of the car in India, and, that too without standard fitment of dual airbags and ABS with EBD across the range. With the proposed Bharat NCAP coming into effect next year, it is likely that our Fiat Punto Evo may perform poorer in the crash tests that we would expect it to.

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