Bengaluru Launches Tenders for Electric Buses; More Indian Cities to Follow?

Published By : 10 Oct 2017 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

India is a major future market for electric vehicles, as the government has come out in strong support for the same in India. Transportation Minister Nitin Gadkari as well as PM Narendra Modi have invited electric vehicle manufacturers into the country to locally produce and sell electric cars and other transportation solutions. Public transport running on electricity is likely to make up a major part of the electric vehicles scenario in India in the coming years. Due to India’s growing population, public transportation accounts for a major share of the country’s total vehicular emissions, making electric vehicles the most viable solution in the long run. However, efforts to increase infrastructure for electric buses have been absent so far in India. That is soon about to change, with Bengaluru’s Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) set to launch tenders for the procurement of 150 electric buses.

The major problem for electric buses has been their high cost. Each electric bus is set to cost 20-30 million INR (around US$450,000), with the size of the battery powering the bus unsurprisingly deciding the eventual price. An investment on this scale is beyond what many public transportation corporations in India can afford, making large-scale adoption of electric vehicles unviable. However, this purchase by the BMTC is backed by significant government subsidy, with the Union government expected to provide up to 10 million INR per bus. The stark contrast between the operating costs of diesel and electric buses – conventional diesel buses used by the BMTC cost more than 1500 INR per kilometer to run, while the electric buses would cost a mere 10 INR per km – is the reason why such major investment has become feasible for the public transportation sector in the country.

With Bengaluru established as the tech capital of India, successful implementation of electric buses in the city could see the pattern repeated in other metros in India, with governments bearing part of the expense to facilitate the adoption of electric vehicles into the country’s public transportation system. 

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