A row of electric buses parked at the Bhekrai Nagar bus depot of Pune, a rare site of e-bus in India. Some of them are connected to charging stations, recharging their batteries, while others hold back to begin their next trip. Outside the depot, a group of passengers are waiting to board one of the 90 electric buses (e–buses). The scene is occurring daily, yet underneath the surface lies a unique test in running a naturally economical city travel framework. In January 2019, Pune turned into be the first Indian city to embrace e-transports and Bhekrai Nagar the nation’s first all-electric transport warehouse. As of November 2019, up to 133 electric vehicles (EVs) have been sent over the city in the period of its e-bus program.
In Pune the E-buses have become the preferred choice of transit for many commuters. “People wait for e-buses now, especially in the hot summer months. They don’t like to get onto non-air conditioned CNG or diesel buses,” Praneet Baiju coordinator of electric bus program in the city. “The older (Diesel or CNG) buses were noisy and dusty and I would often feel nauseous in them,” said Kirti Chaudhary, 30 years old Bhekrai Nagar local who travels by bus every day to her computer class. “The electric buses are pollution-free, air-conditioned, and much more smoother.”
Zero Tail Pipe Emission
Globally, it is well established that e-buses are the new best way forward for mass transit. They exist at the conjunction of public transport and e-mobility, the two of which lower air contamination and carbon dioxide (CO2) emission. Under the Narendra Modi’s leadership e-bus in India program, FAME II, plan is to send 5,095 e-transports across Indian urban. Over their lifetime, these (FAME II) buses will run 30 lakh kilometres without tailpipe emission, save 7 lakh barrels worth of oil and 6 thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. Disregarding these advantages, India’s public transport specialists have been reluctant to induct them into their fleets. Their greater expenses make them restrictive for city travel specialists reeling under financial duress. While a standard 12-meter e-bus costs Rs 2 crore, a comparative CNG transport is estimated at just Rs 48 lakh, and a diesel one even less. However, e-buses do have an economic edge over conventional buses, their operational cost and maintenance cost are cheaper.
A Commuter’s Life
Across urban India, commuters find it difficult to move around cheaply and conveniently. In most of the big cities, mass transit options are either limited or running on inadequate infrastructure, leaving city professionals to resort to two- and three-wheeled vehicles, or their own personal cars, to move around, choking the streets in the process. Bengaluru, India’s largest IT hub for example, has the world’s most noticeably awful traffic. The shortage of public transports is the main reason for this. Relative to the demand there is very less number of public transport available in the country. If we take Delhi, there are 5,500 buses operating, whereas the demand is more than double that number. Even in Pune, regarded the most liveable city in the nation, the fleet of 2,000 buses falls far short of the 3,500 buses required to serve the city’s seven million residents, according to Gunde. It then becomes imperative to address urban mobility woes through mass transit systems. Here e-buses become a critical link. “As we look at (achieving) zero-emission mobility, we don’t really prioritise the number of electric vehicles on the roads or electric vehicle kilometres. Our priority is electric passenger kilometres (the distance travelled by users/passengers in electric vehicles). And there’s no better way to deliver electric passenger kilometres in bulk than by using electric buses”. PMPML intends to send 650 e-transports across three stages. The initial two periods of 150 and 350 transports, individually, will be financed by the state government and the middle’s Smart Cities Mission. The third stage will fall under the national FAME II conspire. In any case, if more e-bus in India are to be accepted into open travel frameworks, urban areas should bring an excursion down a fundamentally rough street.