India has sought funding from World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB) to purchase electric buses for all its major cities to boost its electric mobility initiative.
Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways said at the All India Management Association, “We have requested them to provide such loan at reasonable rates so that we can procure e-buses and give them to state road transport corporations. Loan can be paid back through the savings that would be made on account of moving to electric from diesel.”
‘E-buses’ are already popular in Finland, France, Sweden and Italy, among others, and are quickly growing in Canada, United States, China, South Korea and Colombia.
Transport authorities in India are also keen on rolling out the electric bus services. Here’s the current status of electric buses in India:
In 2014, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) had introduced India’s first electric bus passenger service in the city.
The 31-seater buses were manufactured by China’s BYD Auto Industry.
The Delhi government is also planning to start open-roof electric buses for tourists in a few months. The buses will run on routes same as those of the air-conditioned Hop On, Hop Off (HOHO) buses.
The 30-seater buses will be GPS-enabled and will have WiFi.
On September 24, Himachal Pradesh flagged off its own electric bus service on the Kullu-Manali-Rohtang Pass route in the state. As many as 10 buses are being deployed on the route.
The buses have a seating capacity of around 30.
On Tuesday, China’s BYD Auto Industry won the contract to supply 25 fully-built electric buses to Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC).
BYD Auto Industry also won a contract to supply six buses to the state-owned transport service BEST in Mumbai.
The eBuzz K7 buses, which cost Rs 2 crore each, are nine meters long and can seat up to 25 passengers.
Their Lithium-ion phosphate-run batteries have a range of 144 miles (230 kilometres) on a single charge and a top-speed of nearly 90 kmph, as per figures announced by the company.
The buses will be manufactured in Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
Similar e-bus services are currently being planned in Pune and Chandigarh.