Bangalore, February 01, 2018: BMTC’s plan to run 150 electric buses has received a setback because the Centre has cleared only 40. The corporation had planned to float a tender for 150 electric buses under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) Scheme of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP), but the Centre agreed to provide only 40 vehicles to start with.
The BMTC will start electric services on airport and Ring Road routes, PRO Shyamala S. Maddodi informed The Observer. “This is a trial. If it runs properly, we will definitely get more buses on the roads in following phases. For now, 40 electric buses will operate by September or October.” The corporation is yet to decide the routes.
BMTC’s chief mechanical engineer Krishnaiah Shetty B.R. said: “It would have been better if the government of India had approved the number of buses we had asked for. Forty buses will not make much of difference.”
Electric buses will help to reduce air pollution in Bengaluru to a great extent, he added. The government of India had launched NEMMP 2020 to accelerate the growth of the electric and hybrid components of the automotive sector. It focuses primarily on fast- tracking the manufacture and introduction of electric vehicles.
The department of heavy industries had launched FAME in April 2015 to promote the manufacture of electric and hybrid vehicles to curb pollution. The scheme focuses on maximizing the purchase of electric and hybrid vehicles and supporting infrastructure for such vehicles. FAME will fund cities covered under the Centre’s Smart Cities initiatives.