CHENNAI: Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) buses plying in Chennai roads might go green soon, with officials contemplating the introduction of electric buses to replace some of its existing fleet that run on diesel.
As a first step, transport minister MR Vijayabaskar and transport secretary PWC Davidar inspected a model electric bus manufactured by Ashok Leyland at the Pallavan Salai MTC depot on Monday. They took a test ride on the bus, which had been tested before in hilly regions. According to MTC officials, the company has been given two months to develop a model which suited to the needs of Chennai.
“We’ve asked for certain features for urban transportation, such as hand rails and semi-low flooring. The company has indicated they’ll work on it and come back,” an official, on condition of anonymity, told Express.
Presently, MTC has a total fleet strength of around 3,500 buses. All run on diesel, and have often been flagged for contributing to pollution. The new buses, estimated costing around `2 crore each, offer significant advantage of zero emissions. “There’ll be no emissions, and hence the bus will be environment-friendly. In addition, the buses don’t make much noise,” the official explained.
A notable feature of the bus, powered by lithium ion batteries, is provision for on-board fire detection and suppression system. The bus, part of a circuit series, has a seating capacity of 31, which can however be modified as per requirement.
On-board fire detection and suppression system
Lower noise pollution
Powered by lithium ion batteries, which take around 6 hours to get fully charged
On full charge, it can run for around 40 kilometres