In a couple of years, Delhi will have a 2,000-strong fleet of electric buses. While the Delhi government is already inducting 1,000 electric buses under the cluster scheme, Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) is on its way to procure a 1,000 more.
TOI was the first to report that DTC was also getting electric buses. “On Wednesday, we submitted an application to bring 1,000 electric buses under the FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles) scheme,” DTC’s managing director Manoj Kumar said on Thursday at the foundation stone-laying ceremony of a compact reformer-based HCNG production plant at DTC’s Rajghat-1 bus depot.
Kumar said of the 1,000 electric buses that will be inducted, 900 would be used for city services, while 100 buses will be pressed into interstate services.
Just before the model code of conduct for Lok Sabha polls came into effect, the Delhi government had floated tenders for 375 electric buses under the cluster scheme. After that is finalised, more tenders for the rest of the 625 electric buses are expected to be floated.
State transport minister Kailash Gahlot had earlier told TOI that there was some communication from the central government that DTC could take benefit of the FAME 2 scheme. Gahlot had said that DTC was in touch with the department concerned in the central government and was also trying to seek clarity on the scheme.
Gahlot had also said that supporting infrastructure for charging electric buses would be created. “The entire load would not come at one go as the electric buses will be brought in phases. The infrastructure can be augmented in phases as the buses started arriving,” Gahlot said. “We can begin with 11kv initially, which is sufficient for up to 175 buses. Then we can go up to 33kv and then 66kv. Creating the entire infrastructure for electric buses will of course take time,” he added.