525 AC electric buses to join BEST fleet by December

The city’s public transport will soon take the eco-friendly route as the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking is set to replace half of its fleet of buses with electric ones by June 2023
Electric buses operated by BEST HT File Photo
Electric buses operated by BEST HT File Photo
Published on May 24, 2022 11:06 PM IST
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ByAroosa Ahmed, Mumbai

The city’s public transport will soon take the eco-friendly route as the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking is set to replace half of its fleet of buses with electric ones by June 2023.

The first batch of 525 new air-conditioned (AC) electric buses will arrive in the city by December this year. These will be part of the deal signed with Olectra Greentech Limited, a Hyderabad-based electric vehicle company, to deliver 2,100 electric buses over a period of 12 months.

Going by this estimate, there will be nearly 2,000 electric AC and non-AC buses by next year, which will include AC electric double-decker buses. BEST is currently operating 386 electric buses.

Lokesh Chandra, general manager, BEST, said, “We are expecting 525 buses in the next six months. The buses will be completely electric.”

BEST, which is the second largest mass transport system after the suburban train network, has planned to have its entire fleet – around 3,500 buses – replaced with electric ones by 2027.

Olectra on Monday announced that it had received an order from BEST to supply 2,100 electric buses at a cost of 3,675 crore. The buses will be procured on wet lease, which means BEST does not own the vehicles but provides the contractor at per-km price.

“This is the biggest order in the Indian electric mobility history. The order is to supply 2,100 electric buses on a gross cost contract for 12 years. The buses will be delivered over a period of 12 months,” a statement from Olectra said.

The electric buses are being procured under the Centre’s Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles II scheme that promotes use of electric vehicles in the country.

BEST had in September 2021 approved a proposal for the procurement of electric buses.

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