Bangalore roads are set to become cleaner with 150 electric buses to be added to its current fleet. Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), after much consideration regarding high costs, has confirmed the inclusion of the new buses. This makes Bangalore the first city in the country to adopt such a huge fleet of electric buses.
The trial run of the first electric bus happened in February 2014 and purchasing cost was estimated to be INR 2.9 crore, almost thrice the price of an air-conditioned bus (INR 90 lakh). However, operational costs were estimated to be a mere seven rupees per kilometer against eighteen rupees spent by a diesel bus per kilometer. Going by these numbers, an electric bus gives a net profit of INR 37 lakh as compared to INR 20 lakh for a diesel bus.
In an interview with Bangalore Mirror, Ekroop Caur, Managing Director of BMTC, said, "The board of the BMTC on Friday gave an in-principle clearance to induct the electric buses. Electric buses are the future of mass transit. We are not in a position to rely on fossil fuels in the long run. The electric buses are pollution-free and the maintenance and mechanical costs involved in operating these buses is very less compared to that of petro-diesel vehicles."
Mr. Caur also said that the buying cost for electric buses is high, however, as electric buses are being made in India, the vehicles will be sold at a competitive price. She also added that an exclusive bus depot with required infrastructure such as battery rechargeable points and well-equipped workshops for electric buses is under the pipeline.