Udupi: KSRTC mulls electric buses on inter-city routes based on success of BMTC move | Mangaluru News – Times of India

UDUPI: Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation is planning roll out of electric buses on inter-city routes within 200-kms for a round trip.
This will be based on the success of a plan by Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation that is in the final stages of inducting 300 such buses by end February. The tender process to select the lowest bidder for this contract will be finalised by mid-February, deputy chief minister Laxman Savadi said.
In an informal chat with TOI on the sidelines of his visit to the district BJP office on Sunday, Savadi, who also holds the transport portfolio said four companies have come forward to bid for this prestigious contract after the first three were rejected because of single bids. “We had to go in for a short term tender due to some mistake by one of the bidders Ashok Leyland and this bid will be finalised and contracted awarded to lowest bidder – L1,” he said.
With the Centre providing a grant of Rs 55 lakh under Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles (FAME) in India scheme, the state will pitch in with its share of Rs 33 lakh as subsidy. Each of these buses will cost up to Rs 2 crore, he said. The tender will be awarded to the company that quotes the lowest operating cost per kilometre. Trial runs with buses provided by the bidders on the results are being evaluated, he said.
With the Centre prioritising implementation of above scheme in metropolitan cities battling air pollution, Savadi said KSRTC is keen to emulate its success in the districts, especially on the inter-city routes such as Mangaluru-Udupi, Hubballi-Dharwad-Belagavi to start with. Leasing of these electric buses to private operators with KSRTC crew too at the helm is a likelihood going forward with a 60:40 profit sharing model visualised, he said.
With the present project involving Indian manufacturers, Savadi said entry of foreign electric bus manufacturers who have evinced interest to be part of this project will only spice up the competition to supply buses. KSRTC will set up turbo charging stations at all depots where these buses operate. Government will also encourage such charging stations at petrol bunks to spur the sale of electric vehicles even in the passenger car segment, Savadi added.

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Sagar Biswas

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