Government of India is aggressively pursuing the strategy for the introduction of electric vehicles in India. In September 2017, the government extended FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles) subsidy to electric buses. Many cities are conducting trials of electric buses including Hyderabad, Chennai, Guwahati etc. Further, Bangalore is looking to procure 1,500 electric buses on PPP (Public Private Partnership).
Himachal Pradesh became the first state in India to operate fleet of electric buses on the stretch from Manali to Rohtang (51 km). This is the first step towards the introduction of electric mobility in India. The buses were flagged off by Mr. G.S. Balli, Hon'ble Transport Minister of Himachal Pradesh from Kullu Bus stand. The buses are procured from Goldstone-BYD (Model K7e Buzz - 9 meters) at the price of INR 17 million each. The project is funded by both Central (75%) and State (25%) government.
The bus can cover a distance up to 200 km on a fully charged battery and has a capacity to carry 30 passengers. During the summer season, the buses will be operated exclusively between Manali and Rohtang. However, in winter season, the buses will be pressed into service in Manali, Kullu, Dharamsala, Mandi and Kasol.
The city has currently inducted 3 buses and will add another 22 buses in next 6 months. However, the government of Himachal Pradesh is planning to procure buses for other cities. The commercial operation of electric buses in Himachal Pradesh will encourage other cities to induct electric buses in their respective cities. Further, it will also provide some empirical evidence between the Life Cycle Cost (LCC) of electric buses, compared to diesel buses under Indian circumstances.