You are here
Mumbai: City to get 300 e-buses, 100 for Navi Mumbai
BEST is among five city transport undertakings allotted the most electric vehicles (300) under the Central government's FAME-2 (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles) scheme. The Rs10,000 crore scheme was launched recently to boost electric mobility and increase electric vehicles in commercial fleets. Under FAME-2, the Centre sanctioned 5,595 buses to 64 cities, of which Maharashtra has got a lion's share of 725 for six cities. This was followed by Uttar Pradesh (600 for 11 cities), Gujarat (550/4) and Tamil Nadu (525/8). Navi Mumbai will get 100 on subsidy, Pune 150, Nagpur 100, Nashik 50 and Solapur 25. Other cities to get 300 e-buses on subsidy are Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad. Sources said the e-subsidy was linked to battery capacity (kWh or kilowatt-hour) as cost of batteries is the differential factor between an electric vehicle and an internal combustion engine. The subsidy will be at least 40% of the bus cost, they stated. As for BEST, the remaining cost will be borne by a contractor as the buses will be procured on wet-lease. So, BEST will not have to spend anything towards capital costs. BEST general manager Surendrakumar Bagde said, "We welcome the Centre's decision. We plan to expand the fleet from 3,200 buses to over 6,000. FAME-2 buses will cater to the increasing rush, which has swelled to over 30 lakh daily after fare cuts." BEST had reduced the bus fare to a minimum of Rs5 for a 5km ride, and Rs6 for an AC bus. Under FAME-1, BEST issued work orders for 80 e-buses, of which 10 arrived and 10 will be inducted in a few days.