In 2014, the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) unveiled the country’s first electric bus in an attempt to introduce cleaner public transport for the city’s burgeoning population. However, the idea didn’t materialise because of the high investment costs.
Cut to nearly three years later; the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation, helped by the Union government, could make electric buses a reality for commuters.
In the three year period, no other city has introduced the environmentally friendly vehicle onto its roads, still making Bengaluru the first to do so.
The Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is readying tender documents to procure 150 electric buses, the Economic Times reported.
At present, 6,400 diesel buses of the BMTC ferry passengers around the city.
So how much do these buses cost? Nearly thrice the amount of a diesel bus between Rs 2-3 crores. A substantial investment to be borne by the Transport corporation alone.
“We are expecting anywhere between Rs 85 lakh to Rs 1 crore as a subsidy (per bus). The remaining will be borne by the corporation,“ BMTC managing director V Ponnuraj told ET. The tender document will invite those who can provide both buses and charging points.
However, the operating costs of electric buses are cheaper (Rs 10/km) than the diesel ones (Rs 1523/km).
The money will come through the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles scheme.
But how much does the state stand to make from such a high one-time investment? A comfortable sum, apparently. According to an Indian Institute of Science (IISc) study, electric buses generate 27% more revenue and 82% more profits than diesel buses per day.
And then there is the evident and welcoming contribution to abating pollution. It is estimated that 25 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission can be reduced annually if its electric counterpart replaces every diesel bus, the IISc report says.
Last month, electric buses were launched in Himachal Pradesh for long-distance services.