BMTC to receive prototype of electric bus by August 10

Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is likely to receive a prototype of an electric bus (e-bus) by August 10. Prior to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the corporation had selected NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd. as an operator to run 90 non-AC e-buses under the Bengaluru Smart City Project. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the operator could not provide the e-buses.

Officials now say that by August 10, a prototype of the e-bus, as per the specifications mentioned in the tender, will be provided by the operator. The prototype will be operated on the city’s roads.

“The operator is supplying a 9-metre-long 31-seat e-bus. After we receive the e-bus, it will be operated on the city’s roads to assess whether the vehicle has been built as per the specifications in the tender. If approved, the operator will provide the rest of the e-buses in batches. The corporation is likely to get all the 90 e-buses in six months,” said an official.

The BMTC will operate the e-buses on Gross Cost Contract (GCC) basis. The corporation will pay ₹51 per kilometre as operational cost to the operator, including for power consumption.

FAME scheme

In addition to the Smart City project, the corporation also has a plan to operate e-buses under FAME II scheme (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles in India). Though, a tender was floated earlier, it was cancelled as the operational cost quoted by bidders was not feasible for the BMTC.

The corporation had plans to operate 300 AC e-buses under FAME II. However, after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, a majority of the AC e-buses remained off the roads, forcing the BMTC to change the plan and float a tender for operating 300 non-AC e-buses. Officials said that tender evaluation is in progress.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also hit the plan of operating 1,500 diesel buses through a private operator. Though the tender was floated in March 2021, it is said that the date for bid submission has been pushed back citing the COVID-19 pandemic. Leasing of buses from private operators is being opposed by employees’ unions, who accused the Karnataka government of laying the foundation for privatisation of the road transport corporation.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 9:25:32 PM |

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