Mumbai: Buses will go green as BEST to acquire e-buses running on clean energy, say officials

Mumbai: Buses will go green as BEST to acquire e-buses running on clean energy, say officials

The BEST is already in the midst of procuring 200 double-decker e-buses in the next two years apart from 157 single decker CNG buses.

Shashank RaoUpdated: Monday, December 20, 2021, 09:31 PM IST
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Mumbai’s very own red coloured BEST buses are getting greener; not that its body colour is undergoing a change, but more buses will run on cleaner fuel. In some good news, the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) will retrofit 185 of their diesel buses into CNG ones. This comes at a time when the BEST undertaking will launch the ‘Chalo’ mobile App on December 21 that will provide the live location of their buses.

This is a big move considering that Mumbai will get more buses running on clean energy. The BEST is already in the midst of procuring 200 double-decker e-buses in the next two years apart from 157 single decker CNG buses. According to officials from BEST, they are working out an arrangement with CNG suppliers who could provide funding for retrofitting diesel buses with CNG kits.

“We will be retrofitting 185 diesel buses with CNG kits at a cost of Rs 1,424 lakhs. We expect this to take six months or so and complete it by June-July 2022,” said a BEST official on condition of anonymity.

The BEST undertaking will also purchase 308 buses that will include 157 single-decker buses running on CNG at a cost of around Rs 62 lakh per bus or so and a total cost of Rs 9,734 lakh.

The remaining 151 single-decker buses will be diesel ones. The BEST in 2020-21 have procured 125 single-decker buses and 1 Midibus running on CNG.

The undertaking is already making in-roads into procuring or getting electric buses on wet lease. “We will be calling bids for the 200 double-decker e-buses, very soon and finalize the manufacturer after that. The issue is that the 12-meter long double-decker e-buses aren’t available so it might take time at the design stage as well,” said another BEST official.

There are already 1,250 plus e-buses that the BEST is running and they are planning to add more. As per the Budget estimate for FY 2022-23, the BEST is planning to procure 113 single decker e-buses for Rs 175 lakh each, 100 Midi e-buses at Rs 125 lakh each and 200 double-decker e-buses that are expected to start arriving by June 2023.

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