The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) added 24 electric buses to its fleet on Saturday (7 August). This addition is part of a plan by BEST to procure around 1,800 electric buses by mid-2023.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was present on occasion.
These electric buses can travel up to 200 kilometres with one single charge. BEST has set up charging stations at Dharavi and Worli bus depots and is expanding charging stations to all its bus depots.
The 24 buses are 12 meters long and can accommodate 59 passengers. These buses are equipped with wheelchair access, Global Positioning System (GPS) and panic buttons. These, along with 32 other electric buses, will be operated in Mumbai, reports Hindustan Times.
“The 1,800 buses will be procured in phases and will be inducted on all routes,” said a BEST official.
As part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020, the department of Heavy Industries formulated the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India) scheme in the year 2015.
This scheme aims to promote the manufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicle technology and ensure sustainable growth.
At present, Phase-II of the FAME India Scheme is being implemented for three years from 1 April 2019 with total budgetary support of Rs 10,000 crore.
This phase focuses on supporting electrification of public and shared transportation and aims to support, through subsidies, approximately 7,000 electric buses, five lakh electric three-wheelers, 55,000 electric four-wheeler passenger cars and ten lakh electric two-wheelers.
In addition, the creation of charging infrastructure is also supported to address the anxiety among users of electric vehicles.
In September 2020, the Union Government sanctioned 670 Electric buses in Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat and Chandigarh and 241 charging stations in Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Gujarat under Phase-II of the FAME India Scheme.