E-buses to start plying on Bengaluru roads in October

Electric bus manufactured by Olectra Greentech Limited

Soon, eco-friendly, air-conditioned electric buses will ply on the city’s roads as Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is set to acquire them in about a month’s time.

Olectra Greentech Ltd said on Wednesday that it is ready to supply electric buses to BMTC. The company is waiting for BMTC to hand over dedicated space for setting up charging stations at selected depots in the city, a top company official said.

“BMTC has placed an order for 80 buses (60 A/C and 20 non-A/C buses) and we are ready to supply them. Once BMTC gives us space, we will set up charging stations, which are essential for commencing operations,” N K Rawal, managing director, Olectra Greentech told DH.

He said the company requires about four weeks to complete the work on charging stations before BMTC commences operations of electric buses. The 12-metre-long A/C bus can seat 39, including a wheelchair occupant. It can travel up to 250 km on a single charge of five hours. The operating cost of these buses is around Rs 6-7 per km.

Olectra Greetech (formerly Goldstone Infratech Ltd) manufactures electric buses in technical collaboration with Chinese electric vehicle giant BYD Auto Industry Co Ltd. It has set up a plant in Hyderabad to assemble electric buses.

BMTC has received incentives from the Union government under Phase-1 of FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles) scheme. The government of India introduced Phase-1 of FAME in 2015 in a bid to promote eco-friendly mobility and offered incentives to state governments to purchase buses. Under the scheme, BMTC had planned to introduce 150 electric buses.

In 2014, BMTC had conducted a trial run of electric buses supplied by BYD-Greentech and had shown interest in commercial operations.

Rawal said that in all probability, BMTC could start operating electric buses in Bengaluru in October. The company has also bagged orders from Mumbai and Hyderabad transport undertakings. Mumbai is already running buses in Colaba and Hyderabad is likely to start operations in September.

Olectra is also talking to various other state transport undertakings to supply buses under Phase-2 of FAME scheme. The company is also in talks with several private sector tour operators, schools and corporates to supply electric buses. It manufactures electric buses in 7, 9 and 12-metre variants.

Olectra plans to set up a new manufacturing facility in Hyderabad spread over 250 acres. It plans to invest Rs 200 crore on the plant, which can make 2,000 buses a year.

 

ALSO READ: BMTC to replace all diesel buses with e-vehicles

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E-buses to start plying on Bengaluru roads in October

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