Delhi

Delhi Cabinet gives green signal for 300 electric buses

The Delhi Cabinet on Friday approved a proposal for the engagement of 300 Low-Floor Fully Electric Air Conditioned buses by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) under the Centre’s ‘Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles in India [FAME] Phase-II’ Scheme.

The initial tender called by the DTC in October 2019 was not found responsive and, therefore, the process was cancelled, the government stated. A fresh tender called in June 2020 too was also cancelled as the rates were not found competitive. Then a tender was called the third time in December 2020 and found to be responsive and competitive.

The engagement of electric buses in the DTC fleet on the OPEX Model is a major policy shift as regards the operation of buses by the DTC. So far, the DTC has been operating only buses owned by it. Electric buses are being inducted into the DTC for the first time, the government said.

The induction of 300 electric buses by the DTC at a time is one of the largest engagement of electric buses by any State government or State Transport Undertaking (STU).

“The lowest bidder is M/s. JBM, which has quoted ₹68.58 per km. The second-lowest bidder, M/s. Tata Motors, has agreed to match the rate quoted by M/s. JBM. Under the tender conditions, M/s. JBM shall operate 200 buses, while 100 buses shall be operated by M/s. Tata Motors,” the government stated.

Under the scheme, the buses will be able to operate a minimum 140 km in a single charge. The operator will provide the driver and the DTC will depute its own conductor in the buses.

The operator will be responsible for maintaining the buses or battery throughout the concession period of 10 years. The replacement of the battery will be the obligation of the operator, which is generally done after five years.

“The cost of electricity consumption for the operation of these buses will be borne by the DTC on actual buses up to an energy efficiency of 1.4 kwh/km. However, the amount towards excess consumption of electricity for more than 1.4 kwh/km efficiency will be recovered from the operator on an annual consumption basis,” the government also said.

“The cost of charging infrastructure, including the cost of charging equipment and transformer, etc, shall be borne by the operator. The DTC will provide an electric connection up to the depot from the nearest grid. The operator will be free to use a fast or slow charger, but will have to operate the buses for at least 200 km per day,” the government also said.

A prototype of buses is likely to be received by the DTC in June 2021. The first lot of 118 buses shall arrive in October 2021, while November will see an addition of 100 buses, the government stated.

While 60 buses will arrive in December, the remaining 20 are likely to be received by January 2022. The buses will be parked at Subhash Place Depot, Mayapuri Depot, Rohini-II Depot, Rajghat-II Depot and Mundela Kalan Depot.


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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 6:15:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/delhi-cabinet-gives-green-signal-for-300-electric-buses/article34173573.ece

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