Free Press Journal

Mumbai: BEST to provide e-charging stations at bus depots soon


Mumbai, BEST services, Citizen, BMC, frequency of BEST buses

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport has decided to set up a electric charging stations at its bus depot which will be accessible to electric vehicle owners. This move come after World Health Organisation (WHO) report revealed that air pollution has reached an alarming level in city.

A senior official said they have identified two bus depots Worli and Backbay where recharging stations will be created for electric vehicles (EVs). “We are planning two charging stations at Backbay Depot and Worli Depot. These will be built for cars,” said Surendrakumar Bagde, General Manager of BEST. The transport and electricity distributor currently has charging points at the Back Bay Depot for its electric buses. “We are considering levying commercial rates that are normally applicable at shops, malls and other non-residential places at Rs 5.87 per unit,” said BEST officials.

He further added they are still working out the exact charges. Electric vehicles are a fast evolving technology that need to be constantly monitored. “Depending on the demand, we shall expand into other depots for private electric vehicles to charge,” said Surendra Bagde, General Manager, BEST Undertaking. Currently only 1,748 electric vehicles have registered between April 2016 and December 2017, across Maharashtra. A total of 18 electric vehicles were registered in Mumbai from April to December 2017, of which 11 were registered at the Tardeo RTO.

Also Read: Mumbai: BEST losing passengers due to hike in fare

“We are expecting more electric vehicles to be registered to the RTO. We should use our depots as recharge spots for these vehicles. Other companies have already set up stations for EVs,” said Atul Shah, member, BEST Committee.

Initially, the highest number of electric vehicles to hit the roads were two-wheelers, but in the current financial year, it has been electric auto-rickshaws. While 860 two-wheelers were registered between April 2016 to March 2017, only 233 of them have been registered in the current financial year. From April 2017 till date, 323 e-rickshaws were registered and none in 2016-17. Data shows that there are 67 e-taxis running on state roads currently. BEST has six electric buses that was procured at a cost of Rs 1.65 crore, each. They will be getting 80 more electric buses for which the Centre is providing them subsidy. The central government has an ambitious target of converting all public transport into electric vehicles by 2030.