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BMTC unveils first of 90 e-buses to be inducted by December

Each bus can travel up to 120 km on a single charge. A subsequent 45-minute quick charge will give an additional mileage of 60 km
Last Updated : 30 September 2021, 20:25 IST
Last Updated : 30 September 2021, 20:25 IST
Last Updated : 30 September 2021, 20:25 IST
Last Updated : 30 September 2021, 20:25 IST

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The BMTC on Thursday unveiled the first of the 90 electric buses it will progressively induct into service in the next three months. It’s also in the process of leasing another 300 e-buses.

The first e-bus will undergo trial runs once clearances are given by the Transport Department.

The 90 non-air-conditioned buses will be supplied by the NTPC-JBM joint venture by December 15. The buses are medium-sized (nine metres long) and will run on feeder routes to connect metro stations.

Each bus can travel up to 120 km on a single charge. A subsequent 45-minute quick charge will give an additional mileage of 60 km.

Each bus is estimated to cost Rs 90 lakh, of which about Rs 60 lakh has come from the Rs 50-crore grants under the Smart Cities Mission.

Under the lease model, the BMTC will not own the buses but instead pay Rs 51.67 per km to the NTPC. It will have to pay for a minimum of 180 kilometres for each bus regardless of utilisation. In return, it will keep all the revenue generated from the bus operation.

Transport Minister B Sriramulu said that the 10-year lease under the gross cost contract model would help the BMTC understand electric vehicle technology.

“The chief minister will formally induct some e-buses in November. We will continue to push for green mobility and green economy,” he said.

A BMTC official said that the viability of leasing e-buses would depend on ridership.

“Due to high diesel prices, the operation cost of a non-AC diesel bus has crossed Rs 60 per km. Since we are paying Rs 51.67 per km for an e-bus, it’s a better deal. But viability depends on earnings from each bus,” the official added.

300 e-buses

The minister said that the BMTC board would decide on approving the bid for leasing 300 large-sized (12 metres long) e-buses. The BMTC board is set to meet next month.

Officials said that Ashok Leyland had emerged as the lowest bidder to supply the 300 electric buses, a procurement supported by the union government’s Fame II scheme and a state government subsidy.

Once the bid is approved, the company will be paid Rs 48.90 per km per bus at a minimum assured operation of 225 km, officials said.

1,500 e-buses for city

The state government plans to add 1,500 electric buses to the BMTC’s fleet in the next three years under the Grand Challenge initiative of a subsidiary company of the state-owned Energy Efficiency Services Limited.

Rajender Kumar Kataria, Principal Secretary, Transport Department, said Bengaluru was among nine cities nationwide taking part in the challenge.

State road transport corporations have been asked to quote the number of electric buses they plan to run in the next three years.

“For Bengaluru, we are planning to bid for 1,500 buses. With the addition of these buses, e-buses will serve about 30 per cent of city bus services,” he said.

BMTC Managing Director V Anbu Kumar said that under Grand Challenge, the entire tender process would be completed by the state-owned company, which would help in faster induction of the buses.

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Published 30 September 2021, 19:28 IST

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