The central government is planning to deploy 5,000 electric buses across the country, to push the use of electric vehicles through the state transport authorities in India and the centre asked for proposals from these departments on Tuesday for the same.
Under the second phase of the FAME scheme, the electric buses are to be deployed. The sheer volume of the e-buses to be procured leads to the largest tender of its kind to be issued by the government. Through the scheme, the centre will offer subsidies on the cost of these electric buses to the cities that opt for them.
By the Department of Heavy Industries, the expression of interest (EoI) is issued and as per the EoI isuued , the cities selected under the program will be able to avail a subsidy of 40% on cost of the electric buses. The percentage would amount to a maximum of Rs 55 lakh per a standard bus of 10-12 metres, Rs 45 lakh for a midi-bus of 8-10 metres and Rs 35 lakh for a mini electric bus. “The main intention of extending demand incentive for electric buses is to reduce the upfront capital cost of such electric buses,” the EoI said.
The subsidies, however, come with a stringent timeline of 12 months given to the state transport departments by the centre to ensure the delivery of these e-buses.
Further, the electric buses will be owned and operated by the companies on a wet-lease model, which will in turn quote a per-km price to the departments. State departments have been asked to call for the bids to this tender.
Interested companies will have to account for all expenses to the e-buses and their operations, including the purchase cost of vehicles, electricity, drivers, management of fleet, maintenance of vehicle, charging infrastructure, replacement of battery etc. As per the document, the operator who quotes the lowest rate will be selected.
The centre estimates a total budget support of Rs 2,500 crore required for the purchase of these buses. As can be understood, the scheme primarily focuses on using electric vehicles for public transport in the country, thus cutting down on the vehicular emissions in the process.