Tata Motors today delivered 35 state-of-the-art Starbus electric buses, as a part of the larger order of 340 electric buses to Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST). The 35-seater Tata Starbus electric AC buses were flagged off by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray in the presence of dignitaries from the Maharashtra state government, BEST and Tata Motors, at an event at Mahim, Mumbai.
The buses are procured by BEST under the government of India’s FAME II initiative, and the delivery is a part of the first ever Gross Cost Contract (GCC) by BEST. Tata Motors will be undertaking to build, deploy, maintain and operate the complete charging infrastructure along with the buses. The company will deliver the rest of the order in a phased manner, as per the schedule.
With this batch of 35 electric buses, BEST's current e-bus size has expanded to 270. BEST has targeted a total fleet size of 1,800 e-buses by mid-2023.
In a tweet, Maharashtra State Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray said: “Starting this week, the island city would have a fully and only electric bus network and many buses in the suburban district would be electric too. We at @MahaEnvCC are keen to support urban public transport to convert their fleets to fully electric along with charging infra.”
The 12-metre long, 35-seater Tata Starbus AC electric buses are equipped with advanced features for the comfort of the driver and the passengers like the ‘Lift Mechanism’ that extends an automated ramp for easy ingress and egress of specially abled passengers, along with ergonomic seats, roomy interiors, utility provisions like charging ports and wide entry and exit passages. The full-electric buses come with Intelligent Transport System (ITS), telematics system, regenerative braking system, amongst other features for efficient and smooth operations.
Tata Motors says the buses have been extensively tested and validated across varied terrains and conditions and are engineered to deliver a high standard of performance.
Speaking about the vehicle deliveries, Lokesh Chandra, IAS, General Manager, BEST Undertaking, said, "We are delighted to take delivery of 35 Starbus AC electric buses from Tata Motors. BEST's vision of introducing more and more electric buses will go a long way reducing the tail-pipe emissions and will benefit millions of Mumbaikars. BEST stays committed to the government's focus on electrification of the fleet."
Rohit Srivastava, Vice-President, Product Line – Buses, Tata Motors said, “We are pleased to deliver the 12-metre Tata Starbus electric buses to BEST, as a part of the larger contract. The delivery of these buses will further fortify our partnership with BEST and help in environment-friendly mass mobility for the city of Mumbai. The unique ‘One Tata’ initiative will leverage the core proficiencies of various Tata Group companies to offer the best comfort, performance and low cost of operations. The buses are equipped with modern features that will enable ease of use and offer comfort and convenience with roomy interiors and ergonomic seats.”
Tata Motors, with its state-of-the-art R&D facilities, has been spearheading the alternate fuel technology drive to provide environment-friendly transportation and mobility solutions to the country, including battery-electric, hybrid, CNG, LNG and hydrogen fuel cell technology. The company has recently bagged an order for 15 hydrogen fuel cell buses from Indian Oil Corporation.
Till date, Tata Motors has supplied 525 electric buses across many states in India, which have cumulatively clocked more than 15 million kilometres.
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