TIRUVANANTHAPURAM : The state’s failure to apply for Phase I of the Centre’s Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles in India (FAME India) project could well result in increased tariffs for the proposed electric buses to be introduced by the KSRTC. “The state did not apply for Phase I of the FAME India project. Now, the Centre is planning to launch ‘FAME II’ in which Kerala will apply to get subsidies from the government for E-buses.
If there is any delay in carrying through with the project then we will be forced to increase the tariffs accordingly,” Tomin J Thachankary, KSRTC CMD, told reporters after meeting Zhang Jie, executive director of BYD, a Chinese company which will supply E-buses to Kerala. The Centre has provided subsidy to 10 cities under the FAME scheme. Under this, 60 pc of the total cost of the bus or Rs one crore (whichever is lower) for a single E-bus will be borne by the Centre. If the Union Government provides the subsidy, then the KSRTC will take e-buses on rent at the rate of `37 per km.
Anand Swaroop, COO, Goldstone Infratech Ltd (GIL) was also part of the meeting. GIL, in association with BYD, will provide E-buses to the state. The first bus to be launched in the state on June 18 for a trial run will be provided free of cost and will operate in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode. A pre-bid meeting will be held this week with five companies, including the BYD and Tata, before bids are invited for 300 buses. A discussion will be held to address the issues pertaining to the cost of purchase and maintenance of the E-buses.
On a single charge, the bus is expected to cover 300 km, Thachankary said. However Zhang Jie claimed the vehicles can log 400 km on a single charge. Presently, BYD has its manufacturing unit in Chennai and Hyderabad alone. The delivery of these buses takes at least three-six months as manufacturing will start only after the orders have been placed, he said. The drivers to operate the E-buses will be provided by the GIL company whereas the conductors will be KSRTC employees.
The Council for Scientific Industrial Research (CSIR) will soon start producing its first indigenous Lithium-ion batteries. This may come of aid as it has the potential to bring down the project cost in the future as E-buses run on Lithium-ion batteries.
lA pre-bid meeting will be held this week with five companies, including the BYD and Tata, before bids are invited for 300 buses.
lThe Centre has provided subsidy to 10 cities under the FAME scheme.