BMTC moves closer to inducting electric buses

BMTC moves closer to inducting electric buses

An electric bus that was opertated on a trial basis for BMTC a few years ago.

The BMTC hopes to induct the first of the 80 electric buses in about three months as the corporation is in the last leg of the funding process from the Centre after resolving some issues.

The private company which is leasing the buses to Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) at Rs 37.50 per km has agreed to the condition of joint ownership set by the Union government, which has assured Rs 1 crore subsidy for the 12-metre AC buses and Rs 76 lakh for non-AC buses.

Under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme, the Centre has been pushing for electric vehicles to check pollution. The cash-strapped BMTC, however, decided to lease the buses noting that it could not spend on electric buses, each of which costs over Rs 2.5 crore.

While BMTC had sought bank guarantees against the subsidy, the Centre did not think it was enough and insisted on joint ownership of the buses to qualify for the subsidy. “The private player has agreed for the joint ownership clause. We will send the detailed proposal to the Centre in two days,” BMTC managing director V Ponnuraj said.

He said it would take about three months for the induction of the first set of electric buses. The corporation signed an agreement with Goldstone, a Hyderabad-based company, for deployment of 40 electric buses, which are touted to be cheaper than diesel buses.

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Now, KSRTC seeks e-buses

Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has moved the Centre seeking subsidy for purchase of 50 electric buses. Officials of the corporation made a presentation in Delhi last Friday, explaining their plans to the central authorities.

“The plan is to run the buses between cities that are not too far from each other. We plan to buy 50 electric buses. However, everything depends on the Union government’s decision,” KSRTC managing director S R Umashankar told DH.

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