In a move that will give a major boost to green mobility in the city of Pune, Maharashtra, the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd (PMPML), the amalgamated body of the Pune Municipal Transport (PMT) and Pimpri-Chichwad Municipal Transport (PCMT), is to buy and induct 500 electric buses in 2018.
The transport body also plans to buy 2,000 electric rickshaws, which can be scaled up to 10,000 electric rickshaws to provide last-mile services and feeder services for electric buses. PMPML is also planning to purchase e-trolleys, albeit the volume remains undisclosed.
"These 500 electric buses will be inducted this year. Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has already given his approval for the same. I will see that all these buses ply on Pune roads by the end of this year. We don't only plan to buy buses but we are looking to set up the entire infrastructure including the operators and the electric charging systems," Siddharth Padmakar Shirole, member of the standing committee, PMC and director, PMPML told Autocar Professional today on the sidelines of the 'National Conference & Technology Display Stakeholders Consultation for Roadmap on Electric Mobility in India', organised by apex industry bodies ACMA and SIAM and held in Pune today.
According to the senior PMPML official, the allocated budget to buy new buses for public transportation stands at Rs 550 crore, which will also include purchase of around 800 CNG buses. The state government is also planning to purchase about 100 electric buses for Nagpur and about 200 electric buses for Mumbai this year.
These tenders and government buying are helping the OEMs with the much-needed momentum to their tech development projects in electric mobility.
Speaking to Autocar Professional, Chinmay Pandit, president and Board Member of Impact Automotive Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of KPIT Technologies, who is also responsible for the company’s alternate powertrain products line and the Revolo green technology business, said: “The leadership at PMPML is very aggressive in working towards a zero emission public transportation system. It is very good news that PMPML isn't only buying electric buses. They plan to buy the entire ecosystem that can manage and operate these vehicles effectively. Many buses bought under previous public transportation schemes aren't maintained properly and can be found rusting in junkyards. Hence, this approach of setting up the right infrastructure for electric buses including the charging stations and operators is the right way to go for. It's important to make the operators responsible for effective management of public transportation system.”
Nishant Arya, executive director of JBM Auto (pictured above), which has begun manufacturing electric buses, said: “This is very good news for manufacturers like us. We are not new to making electric buses but orders like these clearly help us adopt the electrification theme.”