Mumbai: Bus, taxi operators confused over government's stand on buying electric vehicles for public transport

According to members from Bus and Car Operators Confederation of India (BCOCI), the e-vehicle dealers are selling them cars that can run upto 160kms or so though there are options for running 200kms as well

Shashank RaoUpdated: Wednesday, June 01, 2022, 09:35 PM IST
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Representative Image | Twitter/BEST

The bus and taxi operators are confused over government's stand on buying electric vehicles for public transport. The associations claim that the e-vehicle dealers aren't selling them electric vehicles that will run as cabs. They private bus and cab operators claim that they are not getting any subsidy as well on e-vehicles.

According to members from Bus and Car Operators Confederation of India (BCOCI), the e-vehicle dealers are selling them cars that can run upto 160kms or so though there are options for running 200kms as well. At present there are 40 such e-tourist taxis that have been introduced though these are lower end models.

"We have been telling these e-vehicle dealers to sell e-cars that can run longer as tourist cabs. However they want these costlier ones to be sold to private buyers citing exclusivity. The fact remains that tourist cars and cabs run on longer routes than private cars," said a member of BCOCI.

One such cab operator claims that they are not even getting options on e-vehicle manufacturers and their models apart from enjoying subsidy on the same. The higher end e-cars are out of scope for buying as they are expensive. For private buyers there are heavy subsidy to the tune of upto 20 percent of e-vehicle cost.

E-buses are hot topic for government Undertakings like BEST that has 386 electric buses in its fleet and gave order for 2100 e-buses as well. They plan to increase its electric buses fleet to 4000 by June 2023. The first batch of 525 new Air-Conditioned (AC) electric buses will arrive in the city by December this year. Likewise the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) started e-bus on Pune-Ahmednagar route as Shivaee from June 1.

However there are hardly any e-buses running on private intercity routes as they aren't given any subsidy. "We are eager to buy e-buses for our intercity routes. However without a proper subsidy, it's very difficult to buy them as the cost is exorbitant," said another bus operator.

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