VIJAYAWADA: With fuel prices touching new highs and to reduce its carbon footprint, the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) is exploring possibilities to convert its diesel buses into electric vehicles. As the corporation plans to retrofit 100 buses into EVs in the first phase, it will have to shell out Rs 60 lakh on each vehicle, officials said.
RTC executive director (engineering) P Krishna Mohan told TNIE: “As part of our efforts to reduce pollution and maintenance costs, the corporation is gearing up to replace diesel engines with batteries in the buses. While tenders have been finalised to launch an e-bus service between Tirumala and Tirupati, similar steps are being taken to introduce the green-friendly vehicles in Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, Vijayawada and Guntur cities on gross cost contract (GCC) or hire basis.”
As the conversion of all of its buses will require a huge amount of money, the ED said, the RTC has decided to only pick its old diesel buses. Recently, an RTC bus was made electric under the project and its entire chassis had to be rebuilt.
“Soon, we will put the bus to test and then send it to the Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT), Pune for its further examination. Only after the nod of experts there will a certificate be provided to it,” Krishna Mohan said.
Elaborating further, the ED said at present the RTC has 2,000 diesel buses with a ten-year life span. All of them will be turned into EVs phase-wise, for which the RTC is studying guidelines of the NITI Aayog. It may be added that there is a provision as per which the Centre may provide new e-buses to States at subsidised rates. “We will write to the Center asking it to provide subsidy to the APSRTC for the project.”
e-Buses in major cities soon
While tenders have been finalised to launch an e-bus service between Tirumala and Tirupati, similar steps are being taken to introduce e-buses in Vizag, Kakinada, Vijayawada and Guntur cities on gross cost contract (GCC) or hire basis, the RTC executive director said.