CHENNAI: Chennai's first electric bus meant for public transport was flagged off on Monday by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.
The new bus built by Ashok Leyland, an automobile maker, will ply between Chennai Central and Thiruvanmiyur in the A1 route of the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC). It will make four trips every day.
The air-conditioned bus has got 32 seats and can carry additionally 25 standing commuters. A commuter would be charged Rs 25 a trip for covering end to end destinations of the route. The minimum fare is Rs. 11, said a statement issued by the transport department.
The bus was designed with battery swapping technology. “The bus can be operated upto 200 km after swapping the battery for every 40 km,” said the statement. It also been built the specifications suggested by Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI).
The electric bus provisioned with the advanced technology to prevent the fire accident. “Fire deduction and suppression system (FDSS) fitted in the bus and it will monitor the battery’s state of charge and temperature. In the event of leakage of power, the FDSS will automatically arrest power supply. The I- Alert System will enable the monitoring of the system through remote control,” said official sources.
The first bus was launched as part of the proposal to introduce two electric buses in the Chennai.
Last month, the government granted permission to MTC to accept the proposal of Ashok Leyland to ply the electric buses in Chennai. “As per the agreement, the private company will have to bear the expenses
of maintenance. The second bus will have fast-charging technology and will be launched soon,” sources in the transport department told Express.
In July 2017, a trail test for an electric bus was conducted in Chennai. Followed by this, in June 2018 the State government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with England-based C-40 Cities Climate Leadership Group to manufacture electric buses. The proposal was to introduce 200 electric buses in Tamil Nadu.
Besides, the Union government has sanctioned 525 electric buses for Tamil Nadu under Phase-II of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India Scheme (FAME India Scheme).