EghtesadOnline: The production line of the first electric bus, which uses 70% of domestic components and is totally designed and produced by Iranian experts, has come on stream.
The bus, produced by Shetab Manufacturing Company, is the first electric vehicle to be manufactured in Iran, Donyaye Khodro reported.
“The goal of Shetab company is to produce public and commercial electric vehicles. The first product of this company was unveiled during April 21-May 21 [the second month of the current Iranian year], which is a 12-meter bus equipped with an all-electric drive and a lithium battery,” Kambiz Moradi, the CEO of Parsan Electric Bus Manufacturing Company (Shetab), said.
The official noted that the bus can travel 250 kilometers with each charge and if it is connected to a fast pantograph or even a normal 600-kilowatt charger, it will be fully charged in half an hour. Usually, 300-kW chargers are used for these vehicles, which take an hour for a full charge.
“If we use the flash or super-fast charger on the route, as part of the charge received at each station, there will be no need for nightly charges. The propulsion of this product is an axle system equipped with motors close to the wheels with about 318 kWh of battery,” he added.
According to Moradi, the electric propulsion is produced by MAPNA Group and the body and trim are manufactured by Oghab Afshan Industrial and Manufacturing Company, while Shetab performs the final assembly and offers after-sales services.
Named Zima, which means ‘Earth’ in Persian, the bus pursues the motto of ‘clean Earth, clean air’, he added.
Electric vehicles are considered zero emission and zero pollution in terms of both air and noise.
New Orders and Production Cost
A total of four buses have been produced so far, as the commercialization process is complete and mass production begins.
The Shetab CEO stated that Mashhad Municipality and the company have signed a contract, adding that this city is the first customer of this vehicle and the company is in the process of obtaining the standards.
“An agreement has been signed with Isfahan Municipality and another is being drafted with Shiraz Municipality, while negotiations are underway with Tehran Municipality,” he added.
Moradi noted that since the turnover is currently low, the manufacturing cost is high, but when the "economies of scale" are implemented and turnover increases, production costs will decline.
“The cost of producing electric buses is higher compared to diesel buses, but high turnover can reduce this gap,” he said.
“The structure of industry and production at the international level is moving in a direction where prices converge in the long run and we will reach a point in the next decade, where the price gap between electric cars and diesel vehicles narrows due to growth and the use of technologies.”
In fact, the main reason behind the low number of orders placed for these vehicles is their high price.
Lack of resources has led officials to renovate buses or buy diesel vehicles, instead of purchasing more expensive electric buses.
Development of EV Infrastructure
Zima is the first monocoque and low floor bus manufactured in the country.
The Shetab CEO said the MAPNA Group has taken measures to develop the electric transport infrastructures in the country in the last five years.
“Its infrastructure has been developed in terms of both hardware and software. With respect to hardware, in-car portable chargers, slow car chargers, fast car chargers with different charging protocols and fast bus chargers and even bus pantograph chargers, which do not have many manufacturers in the world, have been developed in the country,” Moradi said.
“The infrastructures are such that they can be used by any fleet and observe all standards and charging mechanisms. These infrastructures cover the latest international protocols.”
MAPNA is a group of Iranian companies involved in the development and execution of projects related to thermal and renewable power plants, oil and gas, rail transportation and other industrial fields, in addition to manufacturing equipment, including gas and steam turbines, electrical generators, turbine blade and vanes, HRSG and conventional boilers, electric and control systems, gas compressors and locomotives.