Private cars have to wing it when it comes to their fueling up. Either you go to a designated pump regularly or fill up fuel somewhere along your route. Electric vehicles don’t have that liberty yet, but public transport is one place where they can. Buses have a fixed route to take and can have their charge stations at the depots or select locations along their route. Bangalore got India’s first E-bus in March this year and Gujarat is set to get an E-bus service of its own.
The BYD e-Bus
No one is a stranger to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s love for renewable energy sources. Solar power related projects get continuous mentions in a lot of the NDA’s plans, so Modi’s base in Gujarat was sure to get a project like this. The Gujarat government will soon introduce a pilot project to run ‘electric-buses’ for public transport between state capital Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad. The state-run Gujarat Power Corporation Limited (GPCL) has opened its communication lines for interest from the private sector in order to get the investment.
The plan involves purchasing 15-40 of such mini buses and using them to ply through the arterial route. The buses though,will require a heavy investment. Regular electric cars don’t have a very long-range and buses, combining their own weight and passenger load will require high quality batteries than can provide the best range. The investment for the project will also involve the creation of charge stations along the route at every 30 kms or so. However, the bus cannot charge up at every station and we’ll have to wait and see until the plan has better clarity.
India is no stranger to electric vehicles
Electric cars still account for less than 1% of the world’s car population
The plan for electric vehicles in public transport is applause worthy and the first step in getting EVs to the people. The BYD bus used in Bangalore requires 4-6 of charging to reach its peak capacity and has a range of 250 kms. In such a scenario, the only way to keep the service moving is to keep a high number of buses plying. If executed the project would pay for itself in a few years as even the charging stations are powered through solar cells.