Delhi to get 1000 e-buses by year-end: Kailash Gahlot

In a move to tackle CO2 emissions and improve air quality, the Delhi government is gearing up to introduce 1,000 electric buses in the national capital by the end of 2021, transport minister Kailash Gahlot said.

“Delhi is the only state where the entire public transport is on CNG. We have already made an announcement that we will buy only electric buses for public transport henceforth. Towards the year-end we are looking at almost 900-1000 electric buses on Delhi roads,” the Minister said while addressing the ETAuto EV Conclave.

According to the Minister, the state government is in advanced stages for the procurement of 1,300 low-floor electric buses out of which vendors for 300 electric buses of DTC have already been finalised. These 12 meter low-floor air-conditioned buses would be equipped with state-of-the-art features like real-time passenger information system, CCTVs, panic buttons, GPS and other facilities, and would be friendly for specially skilled persons.

Besides, in the cluster model the Delhi government has already floated tenders for another 575 electric buses, Gahlot informed.

After the implementation of Delhi’s electric vehicle policy last year, the state government has already disbursed more than INR 17 crore as EV subsidy to the account of buyers thus far, Gahlot claimed adding that a dedicated EV cell has been created in the Delhi transport department to monitor day-to-day progress made in the state towards electric mobility.

“We have ensured that no EV buyer has to visit the transport department to claim subsidy. Delhi government has ensured that subsidy would be released in 4-5 working days through an absolutely paperless system,” Gahlot said.

On the charging infrastructure side, Delhi government intends to install 1 charging station within a radius of 3 km. Almost 72 charging stations are already functional in the state, the transport minister said. “We have already floated a tender to set up 100 charging stations with up to 500 charging points. In the next 6-7 months these charging stations will be functional,” Gahlot highlighted.

When asked about state authorities’ approaches for the land for EV charging infrastructure, the minister said that the government has identified more than 200 for land parcels in the city to install charging stations. While charging stations will be set up in Public-Private Partnership, battery swapping will be entirely in private domain, he informed.

“We have informed the private investors that land will be provided by Delhi government and the remaining charging infrastructure will be set up by them. Under the PPP model, the concerned investors in turn have to pay some royalty interest to the government,” Gahlot added.