Electric Buses Current Affairs - 2020

First Inter-City Electric Bus to operate between Mumbai and Pune

On February 14, 2020, the first inter-city electric bus was launched. The bus will transit between Mumbai and Pune twice every day. It was launched by the Union Transport Minister Nithin Gadkari.

Highlights

The bus seating capacity was 43. It is capable of running 300 kilo metres in a single charge. The GoI is to extend the service to other parts of Maharashtra as well. The Ministry of Union Transport is working under the target of converting all the buses into electric vehicles by 2022.

The bus is to run in PPP (Public Private Partnership) model.

Electric Vehicle Transition

The GoI is now pushing for the Electric Vehicle transition in the country to reduce burden being created by oil. The CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) transition that happened in 2000s is the best lead to take positive hopes over EV transition

CNG Transition

In 1993, 3 gas filling stations were opened in Delhi. In 2001, the Supreme Court ordered to replace and convert all public buses to CNG. In 2005, there were more than 10,000 CNG buses, 5,000 mini buses and 55,000 CNG three wheelers on road. There was significant drop in Delhi pollution after the move. Similar results are being expected in case of EVs. However, more incentives are required for the EVs to spread wide.

Govt sanctions over 5,000 electric buses under Fame Phase-II

Centre Government has sanctioned 5595 electric buses in 64 cities for intracity and intercity operations under Phase-II of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME-India) Scheme. As per Union Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, this move would give a further push to clean mobility in public transportation.

Key Highlights

Process Followed: Department of Heavy Industry (under Union Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises) had invited Expression of Interest (EoI) from more than million cities, smart cities, State/Union Territories (UTs), their capitals and even cities from special category states for submitting proposal for deploying electric buses on operational cost basis. Department received 86 proposals from 26 States/UTs for deployment of 14988 e-Buses. The proposals received were then evaluated as per EoI and on advice of Project Implementation and Sanctioning Committee (PISC) Government later sanctioned 5595 electric buses to 64 Cities.

Division of 5595 sanctioned electric buses: 5095 are sanctioned in 64 cities / State Transport Corporations (STCs) for intra-city operation, 400 electric buses for intercity operation and 100 electric buses to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for last mile connectivity.

Eligibility: For deployment of sanctioned electric buses on operational cost basis, each selected City or State Transport Corporation is required to initiate procurement process in a time bound manner. Also as per Expression of Interest (EoI), buses which satisfy required localization level and technical eligibility notified under phase II of FAME India scheme will be eligible for funding under it.

Saving during Contract Period: These buses are expected to run about 4 billion kilometers during their contract period and are also expected to save cumulatively nearly 1.2 billion liters of fuel over contract period, which will result into avoidance of 2.6 million tonnes of CO2 emission.

About FAME-India Scheme

PHASE I: The Phase 1 of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME-India) was launched in 2015 to promote manufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicle (EHVs) technology as well as to ensure sustainable growth of same.

PHASE II: Implementation of Phase-II of FAME-India Scheme was approved by Cabinet in February 2019 for promotion of Electric Mobility in the country. Fame Phase-II proposes to give a push to electric vehicles (EVs) in public transport and seeks to encourage adoption of EVs by way of demand aggregation (means total demand for final goods and services in an economy at a given time) and market creation.

Objective: To encourage faster adoption of EHVs by way of offering upfront incentives on purchase of electric vehicles and also by way of establishing a necessary charging Infrastructure for electric vehicles. The scheme will help in addressing the issue of environmental pollution and fuel security.