THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: On Monday, Kerala will launch its first electric bus, becoming the sixth Indian state to run the service. The bus has been brought to the state capital Thiruvananthapuram. A teaser demo was held at Pappanamcode workshop on Sunday. KSRTC chairman and managing director Tomin J Thachankary introduced the bus, which will operate on trial for 15 days in three cities, starting from the capital at 11 am on Monday. It will operate in Thiruvananthapuram for five days. The service will continue in Ernakulam and then in Kozhikode. Single charging stations have been set up in the three cities for the trial run.
“The bus will be charged at night, so there won’t be any difficulty of overloading due to the e-but charging. It requires between four-five hours to get fully charged,” said Thachankary. The trial run will be free of cost service provided by the Hyderabad-based Goldstone Infratech Limited (GIL) in association with a Chinese company BYD. Based on its success, 300 more e-buses will be brought in. A global tender will be floated by KSRTC for purchasing the e-buses on wet lease. KSRTC will be responsible for providing a conductor and the electricity for the bus.
350 km on full charge
A fully-charged e-bus can cover a distance of 350 km. Its electric charge requirement for 1 km will be 1.2 unit, which may cost up to 6/10 per km. The 12-metre-long, automatic bus can seat 35 passengers and is wheelchair-accessible.
For the first five km, the charge will be 20, after which 1.50/km will be charged. Though the e-bus can touch 120 km/hour, its speed will be limited to 80 km/hour in view of passenger safety. An e-bus is estimated to cost around 2.5 crores. Its operational cost per km is very low compared to diesel and CNG buses. It’s free of air and noise pollution and is fully air-conditioned and has CCTV coverage and GPS tracker.
The other states having the service are Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
Thiruvananthapuram - Medical College; Kazhakoottam - East Fort (Kizhakkekotta)-Kovalam; East Fort- Technopark; East Fort-Pappanamcode
Timing: Pappanamcode - 6:10 am; East Fort - 6:35 am; Kovalam - 11:00 am; Kazhakoottam - 1:00 pm
Aluva – Vyttila – Cherthala, Angamaly – Infopark, Thiruvankulam – High Court – Thoppumpady
Kozhikode – Ramanattukara – Kondotty – Malappuram, Kozhikode civil station – Thalassery