To provide better transportation options and curb air pollution in the state, the government of Uttar Pradesh has decided to introduce 650 electric buses to the existing fleet in 13 districts of the state.
According to a senior official at the Uttar Pradesh Urban Transport Directorate, the expected cost of land and construction of infrastructure for charging and parking sheds of electric buses is approximately ₹4 billion (~$55.56 million).
Out of the 650 battery-driven electric buses, 100 will be deployed in the following cities: Lucknow, Kanpur, and Agra followed by 50 buses each in Meerut, Varanasi, Prayagraj, Ghaziabad, and Mathura. Bareilly, Moradabad, Aligarh, and Jhansi will get 25 buses each. Operations of 25 electric buses each have also been proposed for Gorakhpur and Shahjahanpur.
Urban transport directorate, Lucknow, Ajit Singh told Mercom that the tender for 600 buses would be under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles (FAME-2) program of Department of Heavy Industries, and the tender for the remaining buses will be done by the state urban transport directorate.
The Uttar Pradesh government also plans to start the operation of 1,525 compressed natural gas (CNG) buses in 15 cities.
The Department of Heavy Industries had approved 40 electric buses for Lucknow under the FAME-1 program using the Capex model.
Meanwhile, the draft policy of the Uttar Pradesh Electric Vehicles Manufacturing Policy 2018, states that to promote intelligent mobility in public transportation, 1,000 EV buses will be introduced by the state by 2030, in phases. Nearly 25% of the total will be deployed in Phase I by 2020, the remaining 35% in Phase II by 2022, and the rest 40% in Phase III by 2030.
The state claims to be the third-largest beneficiary under the FAME program, with 16,038 electric vehicles on the road. However, the EVs mostly comprise two-wheelers with a maximum power of 250 watts and below, followed by four-wheelers.
Also, an electric substation of 1,500 kVA has been constructed for charging of electric buses in Dubagga. Moreover, 12 chargers have been installed in Dubagga depot which can charge 24 electric buses at a time; six more chargers will be installed at different places in the city for new buses which are in the process of being introduced.
In a bid to promote clean energy, various state governments have acknowledged the importance of clean public transportation for a sustainable future. Many states have floated Expression of Interests (EoIs) in the recent past.
For instance, two weeks ago, Mercom had reported that the Ministry of Heavy Industry and Public Enterprises, Department of Heavy Industry, approved 5,595 electric buses to be deployed in 64 cities under the FAME-II program. These buses will run 4 billion kilometers during their contract period and are expected to save nearly 1.2 liters of fuel during the period.
In June 2019, the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) came up with a proposal to deploy 350 electric buses in five cities in the state. The estimated cost for the project is ₹7.64 billion (~$109.6 million).
The Jammu and Kashmir government has also deployed 30 more electric buses in the state’s summer capital, Srinagar. Other states like Kerala, Goa, and Delhi have also issued tenders for the procurement of electric buses in the recent past.
Image credit: LoveofZ [CC BY-SA 4.0]
Anjana is a news editor at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, she held roles of senior editor, district correspondent, and sub-editor for The Times of India, Biospectrum and The Sunday Guardian. Before that, she worked at the Deccan Herald and the Asianlite as chief sub-editor and news editor. She has also contributed to The Quint, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Reader’s Digest (UK edition), IndiaSe (Singapore-based magazine) and Asiaville. Anjana holds a Master’s degree in Geography from North Bengal University, and a diploma in mass communication and journalism from Guru Ghasidas University, Bhopal.