Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation has signed up for electric buses with Secunderabad-based Olectra Greentech. NK Rawal, managing director, Olectra Greentech said 80 electric buses would be supplied to BMTC.

“The buses are manufactured in India in a strategic and technological collaboration with BYD Auto and we to bring down the running cost to around Rs 6 per km from diesel options which may be over Rs 30 per km,” Rawal said, adding that fast charging points at depots would be provided. The company, which may deliver 160 buses to BMTC in the future, is expecting the deal to be worth over Rs 300 crore.

Currently, there are 31 Olectra electric buses running in Mumbai and Manali – Rohtang Pass regions. The company enjoys the majority of market share in the commercial EV segment in India. The manufacturer showcased the K9 model, which will be supplied to BMTC, at the Busworld India 2018 event held in Bengaluru.

The electric engines and batteries powering the buses are imported and the rest of the vehicle is manufactured in India. The bus features latest technologies like ABS enabled brakes, in-wheel drive, monocoque chassis and kneeling mechanism for differently abled and elderly people.

“We are addressing some concerns related to charging the vehicles, training the drivers on controlling electric motors and educating people about the misconceptions prevalent in the use of EVs. Government of India supports manufacturers like us with suitable incentives depending on the category we are operating in. We hope to see more schemes in the future that would benefit us,” explained Rawal, talking about the challenges in India.

He described that the shift to electric technology would be gradual and would evolve as more and more renewable sources of energy get incorporated into the power grids. The cost of manufacturing the electric motors, batteries and the technical know-how to do it, in India, are still far from feasible for domestic manufacturers.

Rawal believes that within a couple of years, the market for EVs will boom and state governments will be more open to use electric vehicles for public transport.

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