Bangalore, Nov 6: Bangalore will soon become the first City in the country to have 50 diesel hybrid buses in its fleet, besides an electric bus, on a trial basis.
Both the initiatives were announced over a year-and-a-half ago and are now closer to reality.
While the electric bus will be brought in at zero cost initially for a period of three months, global tenders are yet to called for the diesel hybrid buses.
Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) Managing Director Anjum Parvez said that in order to cut down the rising fuel expenses and to keep the emission levels under check, these buses are in vogue the worldover. In India, the concept is still in its nascent stage. The electric bus, costing about Rs 1.2 crore to 1.4 crore, requires to be charged upto eight hours and can travel upto 280 km. It is presently undergoing approval and certification process, he said.
“The bus, most likely, will be rolled out in a month’s time on a pilot basis to evaluate its cost efficiency, running cost, capital cost, etc. The company is not charging the Corporation, but the passengers will have to buy tickets for the pilot project,” said Parvez.
It is air-conditioned, has a seating capacity of 34 and can travel at a speed of 90 km per hour. The BMTC is also getting the charging point ready for the bus at depot number 7, he said. Also, under the JnNURM, 50 diesel hybrid buses have been sanctioned for the City. Though the tender process is yet to begin, it might take another five months for the buses to finally roll out, he said.
“The hybrid buses run 70 per cent on diesel and 30 per cent on battery. The battery gets charged while the engine is running on diesel. Once the battery is charged, it automatically switches to battery mode from diesel mode and vice-versa when it is exhausted.
Many companies are manufacturing hybrid buses which are best suited for Indian roads,” he said. The diesel hybrid buses are known for fuel efficiency, low smoke emission and are air-conditioned.