Electric buses to be introduced on three routes in city

Electric buses to be introduced on three routes in city

Srijit Banerjee | May 11, 2019 15:16 hrs

GUWAHATI: Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) is all set to launch a total of 25 eletric buses (e-buses) under the Faster Adoption and Manufacture of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme in Guwahati. The buses that will be procured by the ASTC will be deployed on Kachari-Kamakhya route making 5-6 trips per day (36 kms per bus per day). The remaining nine buses will be operated on two different routes from ISBT and Paltan Bazar.

The ASTC has planned three proposed routes for the operations of these buses. Route one from Kachari to Kamakhya covering a distance of 6.4 kms, proposed route 2 from Paltan Bazar to airport covering a distance of 25 kms and the third route will cover ISBT, Khanapara, Ganeshguri, Paltan Bazar, Maligaon and back to ISBT covering a distance of 38 kms.

The trial run for the bus is expected to begin from 22nd to 28th May and the launch is expected to begin from 30th May for the first route. The buses will have a sitting capacity of 31+1 for operations on those routes.

The cost of the project for four buses including the four chargers and installation is estimated to be around Rs 10 crores. Each bus will cost Rs 2 crores approx and the chargers will cost Rs 25 lakhs each. The 4 DC fast chargers manufactured by Tellus Power Tech have also been procured. 2 each will be installed in ISBT and Paltan Bazar depots. The ASTC has procured two types of chargers: one of 60 KW which can charge one vehicle at a time and the other of 120 KW which can charge two simultaneously with an output of 750 volts.
Each bus is expected to run 3to 4 trips per day on one full charge. The bus will be entirely air-conditioned and will ply up to 150 kms with full load on a single charge under normal conditions. The electric buses will use Li-ion 1200 KW batteries and will take two and a half hours to charge fully. 

However, with the initial project cost being high and the operation cost which will be expensive over the conventional buses, it has to be seen how successful the ASTC will be in operating such buses in the city that faces frequent power shortage and expensive commercial charges in order to turn the entire transport system in the state into electric.  

Guwahati to get 15 electric buses; govt firms up plans to turn public transport electric

By 2030, India plans to turn its public surface transport into electric vehicles to curb the growing pollution problem in the country. The government's plan to turn the commercial vehicles into electric is slowly starting to take shape under a new scheme called the Faster Adoption and Manufacture of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME).

FAME India is a wing of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan. The main purpose of the scheme is to encourage electric vehicles by providing subsidies. Under the NEMMP scheme, the union government has planned to invest Rs 14,000 crores in creating the infrastructure and promote the use of electric vehicles in the country.

Vehicles in all segments like two-wheelers, three-wheelers, electric and hybrid cars and electric buses get the subsidy benefit of the scheme.

The scheme covers Electric and Hybrid technologies like Mild Hybrid, Strong Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid and Battery Electric Vehicles. The scheme focuses on four areas viz Technology Development, Demand Creation, Pilot Projects and Charging Infrastructure.

The first phase of the scheme was launched by the government in 2015, which expired back on March 31, 2019. FAME-I was focused more on the private vehicles. However, the government is giving more priority to public transport in the second phase of the scheme.

The government has sanctioned a total of 390 buses, 370 taxis and 720 three-wheelers to nine big cities including Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Jaipur, Mumbai, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Indore and Kolkata which will be given subsidies for 40 buses each, while Jammu and Guwahati will get subsidy for 15 buses each.

The allocation for the scheme for the year 2019-20 is estimated to be Rs 1,500-crores; Rs 5,000 crores in 2020-21 and Rs 3,500 crores in 2021-22. Under the scheme, the electric operators will get subsidy of 60% of the total cost per vehicle. While 3,144 vehicles have been applied under the scheme, 390 of them have been sanctioned by the government.
Tata Motors have bagged the contract of supplying the Ultra 9m AC electric buses to these cities in a phased manner. The Tata Ultra 9m AC electric buses are manufactured at Tata and Tata Marcopolo Dharwad plants. The new bus will use an integrated electric motor generator with peak power at 330 BHP and that can deliver up to 194 BHP continuously. The automaker will be supplying e-buses to WBTC (West Bengal), LCTSL (Lucknow), AICTSL (Indore), ASTC (Guwahati), J&KSRTC (Jammu) and JCTSL (Jaipur).

Assam to get 25 e-buses under scheme

The Assam government will procure 25 such electric buses under the Faster Adoption and Manufacture of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme which will be operated and managed by Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) under the pilot project, Guwahati Electric Mobility Plan. Tata motors had bagged the tender and will supply 15 such buses in the first phase and the rest will be delivered accordingly.
The ASTC has 250 city buses in Guwahati. The project is planned to slowly replace the diesel buses with electric buses in a phased manner to promote pollution-free, eco-friendly mode of public transport.

Speaking to G Plus, the Managing Director of ASTC, Anand Prakash Tiwari, said that they have formulated a draft plan for the implementation of the scheme in the state and also a policy that would promote the use of electric vehicles by private entities.
“We have proposed a draft plan called Electric Vehicle Policy (EVP) for our plan of ASTC Vision 2030. The policy has been forwarded to the government for consideration.  The purpose of the policy is to ease the purchase of e-vehicles since the initial cost of the vehicles is higher than the regular petrol or diesel variant of the vehicle.” 

He further said that the operators will receive tax exemption benefits and other benefits to compensate the price of the vehicles. “The unit cost of one bus is about Rs 75 lakhs to Rs 80 lakhs and with the charger, the price of the bus will be more than Rs 1 crore. That’s why the government is considering the scheme to ease the people and we are encouraging the private operators to adopt electric buses under the scheme. The government is surveying all the details and the EV policy is under process.”

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