Delhi to get electric buses

NEW DELHI: Delhi is going to get its first fleet of electric buses soon.
Initially, the Delhi government is planning to procure 200 of them and has decided to float global tenders soon. “After judging their performance, we will expand the fleet,” said a senior transport department official.

The department has also identified depots where infrastructure to park these buses will be developed. “We have decided to use the bus depots at East Vinod Nagar and Bawana to park these buses. The major reason behind choosing these locations was the availability of sufficient power supply. East Vinod Nagar bus depot was one of the best locations to fulfil those criteria,” the official said.

He added that power supply for charging these buses will not be a problem at these locations as 11kV feeder lines are available nearby. “At East Vinod Nagar, for instance, we can get a connection from Khichdipur, which is not far,” the official said.

The Delhi government plans to eventually replace all buses running on CNG with electric buses as they are more environment-friendly. With the induction of electric buses, Delhi will join the ranks of Los Angeles, Toronto, Chicago and New York City, which use electric buses as public transport. If Delhi manages to have an all-electric bus fleet in the future, it will be following in the footsteps of Shenzhen, China, where all the public transport buses — more than 16,000 — are run solely by electric power.

There are some challenges that the government may have to face to get a bigger fleet of electric buses. At 2.5 crore each, electric buses are much more expensive than an airconditioned, low-floor CNG bus that costs Rs 85 lakh. However, the operational cost and maintenance cost of an electric bus is comparatively lower than a CNG bus, transport department officials said.

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