New Delhi: After successfully running six electric buses on Mumbai roads for the past one and a half years, Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) is set to take its green mobility initiative to the next level. The transport body will be deploying 80 more e-buses in the city by the end of the current year. Out of these 80 buses, BEST will ply a fleet of 20 e-buses by the end of June and other 60 e-buses will join the fleet by December. Talking to NDTV about the green mobility initiative, Sunil Gulabrao Ganacharya, BEST committee member, said,
We are procuring 80 electric buses from a Chinese venture, BYD Goldstone for encouraging people to use electric vehicles for commuting, in a bid to reduce the rising vehicular pollution in the city.
Mr. Ganacharya further informed that the e-buses have a capacity of 30 passengers. These buses can be charged at four BEST depots and each of these depots has four fast chargers. The buses being procured by BEST take about 90 minutes to charge completely using a fast charger. These buses can run over 200 km in a single charge.
The e-buses will be incentivised under the Faster Adoption And Manufacturing Of (Hybrid And) Electric Vehicles (FAME) India Scheme of the Department Of Heavy Industries which aims at increasing electric mobility in the country by providing subsidies on purchasing electric vehicles.
The estimated cost of the 80 buses will be around Rs. 90 crore and BEST will get a subsidy of Rs. 80 lakh on each bus under FAME. The remaining amount will be funded by leasing the buses, wherein a contractor would be appointed to run these buses, and would provide the drivers for the vehicles. As per Mr. Ganacharya, the State government aims to increase the number of electric buses gradually in the future by replacing its old retiring buses with new e-buses.
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