Bengaluru is replacing the highly polluting diesel buses with a hundred percent electric buses. After a delay of almost 2 years, the Banglore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is planning to replace its entire fleet to electric by 2030. Up to 1500 E-buses are planned to operate in three years time.
Eco- Friendly Buses
The report suggests that BMTC is creating a roadmap to replace the diesel buses with eco-friendly buses. Having said that, it is planning to deploy 500 hundred buses annually and will continue deploying for 3 more years. Of these 500 buses, there will be 100 AC buses (20 airport buses, 80 other AC services) and 400 non-AC buses.
As for now, BMTC has 3,067 BS-III and 3,423 BS-IV vehicles that run on diesel. The center is looking to upgrade emission standards of its BS-IV to BS-VI by April 2020. According to FAME-I (faster adoption and manufacturing of electric vehicles in India), BMTC had planned to lease buses which were later delayed and had lost subsidy of Rs 75 crore. Later they decided to purchase them instead which further held the plan of induction.
Leasing 500 buses every year
With FAME-II BMTC has agreed to provide subsidy to lease 500 buses where the operator will have to bear the maintenance costs (tires, spares, lubricants, and wages of drivers and maintenance staff) and BMTC will only be paying the power charges.
Under this model, the appointed operators have to provide buses with qualified drivers and operate on routes provided by BMTC for a particular period. In fact, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked BMTC to induct only eco-friendly buses just like CNG buses.
The plan looks amazing as it is going to help the city fight pollution, but it is still unclear when these buses could fully operate all over the city. Moreover, setting up the charging infrastructure, training its staff and also a poor financial condition of the corporation is likely to hamper the expansion of e-buses.