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Ashok Leyland plans hybrid version of electric Optare buses

According to reports, Ashok Leyland is exploring options to launch a hybrid version of its Optare buses in India. The company holds a 75 per cent stake in UK-bus maker Optare.

The company already has electric vehicles under the Optare portfolio. “But considering it is expensive, it is not viable for the Indian market. We could introduce a viable hybrid alternative in the country,” Mr Dheeraj Hinduja, Chairman, Ashok Leyland, told shareholders during its 63rd AGM in the city.

“We have been working on alternative fuels for long with our CNG buses. Our R&D team is exploring ways to make fuel-efficient vehicles. We are doing a lot of work on developing hybrid vehicles,” said Mr R. Seshasayee, Executive Vice-Chairman.

The company’s R&D investment in 2011-12 grew 20 per cent to Rs 349 crore. This is 3 per cent of the total turnover.

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