BMTC all charged up for trial run of electric bus

Battery has to be plugged for 7-8 hrs for a 270-280 km ride

BMTC all charged up for trial run of electric bus

One of the first battery-operated buses in the country will soon run on a trial basis in the City, after being parked at the BMTC bus depot for over a month now.

The BMTC authorities had their doubts after it was found that there were no rules in the Motor Vehicles Act, under which the bus could be registered. However, after much dilly-dallying, the RTO authorities are now all set to register it under the foreign vehicle clause of the Central Motor Vehicles rules.

The electric bus, K9, was brought to the City in late November 2013, to be run on a trial basis for three months by the BMTC.

The Corporation did not spend a penny to bring the bus home as it was provided by a Chinese company on an experimental basis.

Though BMTC wanted to register the vehicle immediately, the present rules regarding registration of electric vehicles pertained only to four-wheelers. For two-wheelers which are operated on battery, registration is not required.

Finally, the Transport department came to the rescue of the BMTC. As per the rules, foreign vehicles which are accredited and certified by statutory agencies abroad can be registered in India.

Officials of the department said that, as of now, no manufacturer in the country is making heavy electric vehicles, but there could be a demand for the vehicles in future, in view of the increasing air and noise pollution. Rules could be on their way very soon.

Officials in the Rajajinagar RTO were asked by the Transport commissioner to conduct the mandatory checks on the vehicle and prepare a report thereafter, for registration of the bus.In fact, after the trial run of three months in the City, the bus will undergo similar runs in other metros.

The idea of a trial run is to check the longevity of the fully charged battery on busy routes before a decision is taken on buying these buses, a BMTC official said.

“It takes six to seven hours for the battery to be fully charged and then it can be driven for 270-280 km. We will check how well it does on City roads, before we decide on inducting it into our fleet,” said a senior official of BMTC.

Charging point at KBS

The BMTC has set up a charging point at depot number 7 of the Kempegowda bus stand for the electric bus. The bus, which costs around Rs 1.4 crore, recently underwent the homologation and certification process. 

It is air-conditioned, has a seating capacity of 32 and can reach speeds of up to 90 km per hour.

The speed can increase from 0 to 50 km per hour in 20 seconds. The bus also has seating provision for a differently-abled passenger.

It is successfully running in several European countries and in China, but is yet to be tested in India.

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