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Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST), in wake of achieving 50% electrification of its fleet, will be signing orders for procurement of 2,100 additional e-buses in January 2022. This would make BEST’s electric bus fleet six times the present.
Enhancing the office-goers’ carrying capacity and cutting wait time at the stations, BEST is now aiming for 1,400 large-sized single-deckers AC electric buses, running up to 12 metres in length, instead of 9 metres Midi and 7 metres Mini buses.
Other buses slated for delivery in early 2022 include 400 AC electric Midis, 200 AC electric double-deckers as well as and 100 AC electric Minis.
Having had enough of tiny buses that can access every lane and byway in the city, the BEST general manager Lokesh Chandra stated, “We now want to focus on speeding travels for office-goers and transporting the most passengers in a single ride.”
During peak hours, the 12-metre buses would be distributed on longer courses, all office-going roads, and arterial roads, he added.
According to commuters, the introduction of additional e-buses should be accompanied by appropriate planning and deployment, so that buses are not grouped together on the same route, and the frequency should be set so that there is at least a 5-minute interval between each vehicle.
BEST also issued contracts on Wednesday to accept bids from private contractors for the construction of 55 additional public e-charging stations at bus depots and bus stops around Mumbai.
According to sources, the agreements would be signed for a period of ten years, and the e-charging stations on BEST plots will contain charge ports for buses and other electric vehicles.
BEST also intends to power its e-buses solely from solar, solar-wind, or hydro-based energy, in the near future, Chandra added. He stated that the project will obtain enough solar energy by June 2023 to power approximately 2,100 e-buses.