India’s first e-bus begins plying in Bangalore

Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has introduced India’s first electric bus for passenger service in Bangalore.

By Jaishankar Jayaramiah calendar 03 Mar 2014 Views icon15043 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
India’s first e-bus begins plying in Bangalore

Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has introduced India’s first electric bus for passenger service in Bangalore. The e-bus, supplied by Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD Company, began plying on February 28.

BYD’s pure-electric 31-seater bus employs many advanced technologies including Iron-Phosphate (or Fe) batteries, in-wheel hub motors and regenerative braking. BYD says it’s the battery is fire-safe and non-toxic: there are no caustic materials contained in the battery, no toxic electrolytes or heavy metals and can be completely recycled. The e-bus can be driven for around 250km, even in heavy city traffic, on a single charge, which takes four to six hours.

The vehicle uses four ferrous batteries with a capacity of 324 kWh (kilowatt-hour); energy consumption stands at 1.2 kWh per kilometre. The e-bus battery pack has a battery management system (BMS) that monitors safety, voltage and temperature of individual cells for charge safety and balancing. BYD city e-buses are currently in use globally in the US, Hong Kong, Columbia, Chile, Spain, Denmark and the Netherlands.

BMTC’s managing director Anjum Parwez said the corporation will use the e-bus on a trial basis for three months. “Based on its performance, we will decide about including more such buses as part of our fleet.”

Karnataka state transport minister R Ramalinga Reddy, who launched the initiative, said the initiative is part of a government programme to support an emission-free transport system. He said the e-bus is expected to cost Rs 2.7 crore per unit. BMTC officials say the vehicle has an advantage of low running costs at Rs 7 per kilometre as compared to Rs 18 per kilometre for other luxury AC city buses.

Parwez said the e-bus’ various safety features include a fire detection system and sensors which help detect a spark or smoke and display an alert signal on the dashboard to caution the driver. The bus comes with two sliding doors and two roof hatches that could serve as emergency exits. In addition, two CCTV cameras are also fitted in the saloon area. Other highlights include LED destination display boards at the front and rear, internal display board with in-bus voice announcement system with a display both in English and Kannada.

BMTC, which is one of the largest transport corporations in the country, was the first Indian public sector enterprise to introduce Volvo buses in 2006 to facilitate inter-city commuting in Bangalore. It currently caters to 4.95 million commuters every day in Bangalore city and has a fleet of 6,696 buses. Each day, the corporation, which has 39 depots and 50 bus stations across the city, operates 83,694 trips covering 13.26 lakh kilometres and has a per day traffic revenue of  Rs  5.13 crore.

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