HYDERABAD: Commuters get ready for a ride on pollution free battery-operated buses from China. The AP Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) will introduce the buses in a few days in the city which, later, would be extended to other regions also.
The APSRTC is contemplating to operate a non-airconditioned battery bus on an experimental basis. The RTC informed that the bus will be imported from Photon company in China with the cooperation of Deccan Auto works in Hyderabad, and would be delivered to the city in one month.
With two batteries, one for running the bus and another as back up, the bus can cover a distance of up to 200 kilometres for each recharge.
The gear-less vehicle can sit 46 people.
Spare batteries along with recharging equipments will be kept at charging depots where ground staff will take up the maintenance work.
RTC official said that pollution free battery buses would cost around Rs 1 crore.
And the Centre would provide a subsidy up to 50 per cent under Ministry of Natural Resource Management (MNRM)scheme.
The buses will be the first of its kind for public transport in the country as such vehicles, till now, were being used by companies like BHEL and other important installations like airports.
The officials said that it would also be cost effective as the organization had been spending Rs 2,000 crores towards diesel for 22,500 existing buses. Meanwhile, they are also contemplating to set up solar panels to recharge the batteries at every depot to further reduce the power costs.
It is learnt that Ashok Leyland will be launching its battery buses on a trial basis in three months. If they prove successful, they will be available at cheaper prices.
It is in stark reminder to the fact that the APSRTC is facing a financial loss of Rs 2,700 crores owing to various reasons.
Although the officials introduced many reforms, they failed to turn the deficit.
They are putting their hope on the buses, an official said.