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The Delhi government plans to roll out the first batch of electric buses in the city from March. However, the government has already started working on providing the supporting infrastructure such as charging points for these buses.
In a recent meeting where officials of the transport department, Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) were present, it was decided that the process of selecting sites for charging points across the city would begin shortly.
The Delhi government is going to construct bus depots at six locations for the 1,000 electric buses it proposes to induct — East Vinod Nagar, Bawana Sector 5, Burari, Rohini Sector 37, Rewla Khanpur and Narela. Electric power for charging of electric buses and the housing of requisite numbers of charging units shall be the responsibility of the concessionaire(s) who will arrange the infrastructure at their own cost, in consultation with discoms.
“Apart from DTC depots where these buses would be parked, there are also plans to provide charging points along bus routes. The process for marking these sites would soon begin,” a transport department official said.
From October, trial run of electric buses, which would be provided by manufacturers, is set to begin. While there were plans to run three such buses during the trial runs, sources said that two buses would now be used for trial as one manufacturer has backed out.
The trial runs would help the government find out how these buses operate on Delhi’s roads and also their operating cost. The per kilometre operating cost of electric-run buses came out to be lower than CNG-run buses when a Chinese firm had provided one electric bus for trial in March 2016. The bus operated between Delhi Secretariat and Central Secretariat for some time as part of the trial.
The Delhi government is planning to promote electric mobility in a big way in the city and as a part of that, it plans to induct electric-run buses for public transport too. In a recent meeting chaired by transport minister Kailash Gahlot with stakeholders, the issue of providing a robust support infrastructure for electric mobility was discussed.
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