Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal flagged off the first electric bus of Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) on Monday. Kejriwal said this is an “important milestone” in Delhi’s transport landscape.
He further told reporters that a bus has been added to the fleet of DTC after 2011 – a jinx that has now been broken.
“Today, Delhi got its first electric bus and this is an important milestone in various aspects. First, this is the beginning of a new era in the transport sector in Delhi. In the coming years, these electric buses will replace the old fleet of buses in Delhi,” said Kejriwal.
“This is an important step in controlling the pollution in Delhi. It’s a noise less, zero-emission vehicle,” he added.
Kejriwal said that the bus takes 1-1.5 hours to charge fully and can cover a minimum distance of 120 kilometres in one full charge.
“Delhi will have 300 electric buses by April and we plan to roll put 2,000 more such buses in the next few years,” he said.
The prototype bus, which arrived earlier this month, will run on 27-kilometre-long Route E44 (Pragati Maidan to IP Depot via ITO, Safdarjung, Ashram). It has been manufactured by JBM Auto Limited.
Fifty more e-buses are expected to be inducted into the DTC fleet next month, when the roll out for mass public transport begins.
There are 2,300 total electric buses in the pipeline. Out of these, 1,300 will be procured by the DTC and the rest 1,000 will operate under the cluster scheme.
The Delhi government will equip bus depots with charging stations for these e-buses. This will be done in phases.
The plan to induct e-buses in Delhi was first announced in July, 2018. In the future, the Delhi government will procure only electric buses.