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BMTC sets July deadline to ply 12-metre e-buses  

While e-buses are usually regarded beneficial in the long run, rising fuel costs have made them more valuable even in the short run
Last Updated : 30 May 2022, 18:57 IST
Last Updated : 30 May 2022, 18:57 IST
Last Updated : 30 May 2022, 18:57 IST
Last Updated : 30 May 2022, 18:57 IST

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The BMTC has set July as the deadline to deploy at least 50 of the 300 large (12-metre) e-buses with officials working to set up charging stations in three depots.

The bus corporation awarded the contract to supply and operate 300 non-AC buses to Ashok Leyland subsidiary Switch Mobility Ltd in November. Officials said they received the e-bus prototype ‘Astra’ earlier this week.

“We will look into the vehicle’s operations and see if changes will be required. Details will be finalised in the next few days, following which the contractor will deliver at least 50 vehicles every month till October,” said a senior official.

The corporation has identified the Yelahanka, Bidadi and Attible depots, each of which will give shelter to 100 e-buses. “Civil work is going on in the Yelahanka depot for establishing a shelter and charging stations. We are also establishing charging infrastructure at the Kempegowda Bus Station and at Silk Board to enable opportunity charging,” he said.

The BMTC will spend Rs 62/km, including the lease charge and conductor salary, on each of the 12-metre buses. Officials hope increasing ridership would bolster earnings to make e-buses viable.

While e-buses are usually regarded beneficial in the long run, rising fuel costs have made them more valuable even in the short run.

“Data for April shows the BMTC spent Rs 74/km to run a non-AC bus. We will be saving Rs 12 per each kilometre. As long as e-buses provide assured services and the pandemic doesn’t affect ridership (anymore), we hope the e-buses will help the BMTC,” the official said.

Delay causes worry

The BMTC expressed worry over inducting 90 midi (9-metre) e-buses, contracts for which were given to NTPC-JBM. The corporation was hoping to run all the buses by February.

“There has been a delay of at least two-and-a-half months in establishing charging stations. The contractor has cited chip shortage, which affected their works. The work on the charging stations in the KR Puram depot is still ongoing. We hope it will be completed by the end of the month,” an official said.

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Published 30 May 2022, 18:41 IST

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