SOFIA (Bulgaria), February 15 (SeeNews) - Israeli-Bulgarian electric buses developer Chariot Motors is set to make its first sales this year, targeting the markets in Central and Eastern European (CEE), the company's chief executive officer (CEO) said.
Chariot, which got its first ever order last month, expects to sell more than 100 e-buses this year, CEO Milen Milev told SeeNews in a recent interview.
"We signed our first contract this year. Previously, the company was focused on research and development, without realising sales," Milev said.
In January, Dnevnik daily reported that Serbia's capital Belgrade bought five e-buses from Chariot Motors.
In addition to CEE, Chariot is targeting also Western European markets, where it hopes to launch sales in 2017.
Among its business plans, Chariot intends to build service support centers in the countries where its buses will run.
In the medium term, it is also considering the possibility of building a plant for manufacturing and assembly of e-buses in the CEE region. Chariot's e-buses are based on the technology of China’s ultra-capacitor (UC) producer Aowei.
Charity Motors relies on suppliers from Bulgaria for its two main systems - charging stations, which play a key role in the operation of e-buses and systems for diagnosis and remote monitoring.
According to Milev, the most active country in southeast Europe, conducting policy towards the introduction of e-buses, is Serbia. However, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, and Macedonia also make efforts in this direction.
"All European capitals and major cities have announced plans to reorient their urban transport to zero CO2 emissions in the coming years. Some European bus manufacturers have already said they will halt production of diesel buses and start making electric buses," Milev said.
He added that there are also potential customers in Bulgaria interested in the company's e-buses.