March 2019 till date has been an important month in India’s transition towards electric vehicles in public transportation. Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) inaugurated its first fleet of 40 electric buses in Hyderabad on 5th March and West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) inaugurated 20 electric buses on 21st February and would reach a fleet of 40 buses by 31st March.
The TSRTC buses were launched from Miyapur depot and will ferry people to the Hyderabad International Airport from various locations in the city. These buses will approximately make 10 trips each day. Electric vehicle manufacturer Olectra-BYD has enabled TSRTC to deploy the largest fleet of electric buses by any State Transport Utility in the country. Named eBuzz K9, the AC low floor buses are able to accommodate 39 +1 driver. Charged to the capacity for 4 hours, the single electric bus will be able to travel more than 250 km at a stretch.
Speaking on the occasion, vice-chairman and managing director of TSRTC Sunil Sharma said, “This is the first corporation in the country to operate such a huge number of buses. The agreement we have made is to set a precedence to the other States in the near future. This initiative holds a two-fold social responsibility of ensuring pollution reduction in the city as well as stabilising the corporation against the rising fuel prices,’’ he said.
Olectra being the first OEM to deploy buses under GCC model under FAME-1 scheme will be seeing at opening more projects in the city. Having invested over Rs 800 crore in the business, the MEIL group of companies run Olectra has received over 300 acres of land allotted by the government to establish a world class manufacturing plant in Chandan Valley.
While Southern states of India are usually the early innovators of new schemes and technology, the chief minister of the state of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, flagged off 20 electric buses in the state. The buses will ply on three major routes of the city – Airport-Joka, Shyambazar-Nabanna, and Tollygunge-Bidhannagar. The city has already 22 per cent of its daily travel dependent on electric transport services such as Metro, Tram, and Suburban and Circular rail systems
Tata Motors initiated the delivery of 80 buses to the West Bengal Transport Corporation and it is a move that can easily be considered one of the biggest pushes for electric buses in the country, and the biggest in the state of West Bengal. Tata Motors has supplied 31 seater 20 Ultra Electric 9/9m AC E-buses while the second batch of 20 9/9m AC E-buses will be delivered by March 31, 2019. The remaining 40 9/12m AC electric buses will be supplied to WBTC in a phased manner.
Manufactured at Tata Motors Dharwad plant, the Ultra Electric buses will have a traveling range of up to 150 kilometers on a single charge. The Li-ion batteries have been placed on the rooftop to prevent breakdown due to waterlogging. The batteries are liquid cooled to maintain the temperature within an optimum range. The critical electrical traction components have been sourced from internationally known best-in-class suppliers in USA, Germany and China offering proven products.