If all goes according to the plan, Bengaluru could be the first city in India to have electric buses for public transport.
The Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is readying tender documents to procure 150 electric buses.
BMTC managing director V Ponnuraj said. “Electric buses are the future of transportation. Switching to electric buses from diesel would also bring down the cost of operations. We will float the tender shortly and expedite the process of selecting the supplier.”
The Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), In 2014, unveiled the country’s first electric bus in an attempt to introduce cleaner public transport for the city’s population. However, the idea didn’t materialise because of the high investment costs.
In the three year period, no other city has introduced the environmentally friendly vehicle onto its roads, still making Bengaluru the first to do so.
BMTC Managing Director Ekroop Caur while addressing the second UITP India seminar on IT solutions for public transport, “Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) will procure 150 electric buses by September.”
To reduce pollution caused by the increasing number of vehicles in the city, the UT Administration has started the process of introducing electric buses in the city under its Smart City plan.
Before placing the order for the electric buses, the Transport Department had asked companies to ply the bus in the city on a trial basis.
An official of the department said Tata Motors had agreed to ply a bus in the city on a trial basis. During the trial run, officials of the department will see the effectiveness of the bus.
The bus has a seating capacity of 26 while nine passengers can stand inside it. Provision has also been made for two differently abled persons. The official said the electric bus was a zero-emission vehicle and was safer than the usual buses. It had all features for the safety of passengers, besides comfortable seating facilities.
The initial investment, however, is high. Each electric bus is likely to cost anywhere between Rs 2 and Rs 3 crore, depending on the size of the battery, which is the major cost component in each bus.
The cost, therefore, is 2-3 times more than that of a conventional bus that runs on diesel. However, when it comes to operating costs, electric buses are cheaper (Rs 10/km) than the diesel ones (Rs 1523/km). The entire fleet of 6,400 buses in the BMTC runs on diesel.
“We are expecting anywhere between Rs 85 lakh to Rs 1 crore as a subsidy (per bus). The remaining will be borne by the corporation,“ Ponnuraj said. The tender document will invite those who can provide both buses and charging points.
In September this year, electric buses were launched in Himachal Pradesh for long-distance services. The BMTC's would be inside the city.
Pawan K Mulukutla, Head (Integrated Transport), WRI India, suggested that the BMTC prepare a roadmap before moving towards electric mobility. “That includes in-house capacity, technicalities, and future plans,“ he said. “Does it make sense to buy 30 or 150 electric buses?“
Information source: thebetterindia
Cover image source: pluginindia