The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has decided to operate electric intercity buses on six intercity routes across the state. This decision comes after the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) decided to operate similar buses in the city from November.
According to KSRTC officials, the transport company has completed the bidding process with a Hyderabad-based company to operate 50 air-conditioned e-buses in the state. “KSRTC will pay Rs 55 per kilometer to the private operator who will operate the buses and with their own drivers. Only one driver will be affected by us,” senior KSRTC officials told The Indian Express.
These buses will run from Bengaluru to Mysuru, Chikkamagaluru, Shivamogga, Madikeri, Virajpet and Davangere as these are the most popular intercity routes, officials said.
Hyderabad-based Olectra Greentech Limited (OGL) established itself as the lowest bidder under the Centre’s FAME 2 program (Faster adoption and manufacture of hybrid and electric vehicles in India). Officials said it will be a 12-year contract under which KSRTC will pay by the mile.
“The price of electric buses will be the same as that of existing AC buses that run on these six intercity routes. They will be replaced by the new fleet of electric buses, ”added the official.
OGL will install the charging stations in the depots and at six locations identified to operate the services and it is they who will take care of the operation and maintenance of these buses.
Officials said the buses will be 12 meters long and can accommodate 43 passengers. The company must run each bus 450 km each day.
Meanwhile, BMTC received an e-bus from Uttar Pradesh-based JBM Auto Limited in September and it also plans to start non-AC e-bus operations from November 1.
The 9-meter-long, non-air-conditioned bus can travel 120 km on a single charge and accommodate 33 passengers. BMTC also plans to operate 90 electric buses which will be leased by the National Thermal Power Corporation Vypar Vidyut Nigam. Former Transport Minister B Sriramulu also announced that BTC was in the process of purchasing 300 additional buses in the coming days.
BMTC officials said JBM Auto Limited will send the 90 electric mini-buses at a cost of Rs 130 crore as part of the project. The buses will be operated on the basis of a gross cost contract (GCC), whereby the private company will not only supply the buses but also take full responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the buses. The company will also provide drivers. Buses will operate from Yeswanthpura, KR Puram and Kengeri depots in Bengaluru town.