New Delhi will see its first electric bus ply from 10th March 2016. Delhi Transport Minister, Gopal Rai, flagged off the bus. It is the first such bus in India which is 100 percent pollution free and operates completely on electricity. The bus will run between Delhi Secretariat and Central Secretariat from 6:30am to 9:20pm everyday for the next six months on trial basis.
The idea to try the electric buses came after DDC vice chairperson Ashish Khiatan visited China last year. The bus has been developed by a Chinese firm, though it is being marketed in India by the Smart Group. It is a pilot project. The minimum fare will be Rs 10. The bus takes four hours to charge and has a range of 280 km. The bus will make 10 round trips connecting Delhi Secretariat to Central Secretariat every day.
The Delhi government has provided basic facilities like parking space and charging point at the Millennium Depot. The electric bus is also more cost-effective than CNG ones, with the cost coming to Rs 12 per km as against Rs 18 per km. It also features hydraulic suspension and has a seating capacity for 31 people, about 10 seats lesser than a conventional low floor Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) bus.
This electric bus is air-conditioned, has CCTVs and public address system for women safety, fitted with fire fighting equipment, complete medical kit, special seating for differently-abled people, and first class comfortable seating facilities for all passengers. It also has a battery life of more than 4,000 recharging cycles, which is fire proof.
According to Rai, these electric buses are already running successfully in Los Angeles in the US and Shenzhen in China, with trials going on in cities like London and Jakarta.
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