1.5L state buses to go electric

1.5L state buses to go electric

Gadkari asks automakers to sell green vehicles

1.5L state buses to go electric

Aiming an eco-friendly public transport system, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is planning to convert 1.5 lakh state transport corporation buses into electric ones in a phased manner.

While one such diesel bus converted into electric already been donated to Parliament for ferrying MPs from their homes to the Parliament House by the transport ministry, another 10 buses will be ready by March this year and handed over to various state road transport corporations, an official in the ministry told Deccan Herald.

Delhi, Karnataka and Maharashtra have shown interest in  developing the retrofit solutions by converting diesel buses into electric, said the official.

The ministry is preparing a blueprint to take up the massive task and will discuss with all stakeholders, including state governments on its funding pattern and other requirements, he said.

No specific date
However, the official refused to give any specific date for the programme. It will be decided after discussing with all stakeholders, he said.

Isro, IIT-Kharagpur and IIT-Madras have already developed indigenous lithium ion batteries at a mere cost of Rs 5 lakh in comparison to the imported ones worth Rs 55 lakh to power buses.

The lithium ion batteries would be used to transform the existing diesel buses into electric, said the official.

Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari recently said an imported electric bus costs about Rs 1.75 crore whereas the one converted indigenously will cost about Rs 60 lakh.

However, he said the price is likely to be reduced further on grounds of technological advancement and mass production.

The minister, while addressing auto manufacturers in the National Capital recently, suggested them to sell eco-friendly vehicles equipped with modern technology to reduce pollution.

To promote green fuel, the ministry recently notified norms for use of bio-CNG for vehicles. With this notification, vehicle manufacturers can manufacture, sell and run the vehiclesby bio-CNG in the country, said the official.

“The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has started the initiative of promoting vehicles which are powered by clean fuel like bio-ethanol, bio-CNG, bio-diesel, electric batteries, etc,” he said.