The national capital will get 100 electric buses next month, followed by another 200 e-buses by mid-May, to take the city’s e-bus fleet strength to 300, senior transport officials said on Monday.
Currently, Delhi has just one e-bus for public transport that was flagged off by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on January 17 this year. This will be a part of the 300 e-buses that the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) is adding to its fleet.
“In the first week of March, around 50 e-buses are expected to arrive. Overall, in March, 100 of the 300 e-buses will arrive. The rest will arrive in batches till mid-May,” an official said, on condition of anonymity.
Transport commissioner Ashish Kundra said even the current bus fleet of 6,894 — comprising CNG buses — in the national capital is the most the city ever had. Of the 6,894 buses, 3,761(including the lone e-bus) are run by the DTC, while 3,133 are being operated under the cluster scheme (run by private operators).
Apart from the 300 e-buses of the DTC, another 330 e-buses under the cluster scheme will be rolled out by the end of the year. The tender for those 330 e-buses is currently being prepared, said officials.
A set of 1,500 e-buses under the “Grand Challenge” of the central government (initiated in June last year by the ministry of power and NITI Aayog) will start arriving from July this year and the final lot is expected to arrive by June or July next year, the transport official quoted above said.
On October 28 last year, HT first reported that the Delhi government has planned to procure only electric buses in the future, with an aim to increase the share of zero emission vehicles in public transport to over 50%. To cater to the influx of e-buses, all existing bus depots are being upgraded with EV charging infrastructure with the help of the three major private power distribution companies in the city.
According to various court orders, Delhi is supposed to have at least 10,000-11,000 public transport buses to cater to its population of nearly 20 million.