The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has decided that it will not scrap older buses from its fleet but instead convert them into electric buses, reported The Hindu.
BMTC chairman Nagaraju Yadav has suggested converting the older, diesel-powered Volvo buses in its fleet to electric, but officials are sceptical of the matter.
The BMTC began inducting buses manufactured by Volvo in 2006 into its fleet. The corporation’s current policy says buses that have either crossed the age of 10 years or have been used for over 10 lakh kilometres are to be scrapped. Around 825 Volvo buses are part of the corporation’s fleet, several of which have crossed the age limit but are still in operation.
Yadav has said that the body of the buses are still in a good condition and only the engine needs to be changed. One hundred fifty buses manufactured by Tata Marcopolo which were due to be scrapped in 2015, are still lying in the BMTC’s workshop due to a lack of takers, and the administration has now decided to retrofit them to run on electric power.
Officials of the BTMC meanwhile have claimed that they were shocked on hearing the decision to retrofit the buses.
BMTC was the first public sector transport undertaking to try out electric buses with a Chinese BYD (the manufacturing company) bus, making a two-month-long appearance on the roads of Bengaluru in 2014. The corporation in 2016 planned to acquire more such buses at a cost of Rs 2.7 crore each, but the plan met with heavy criticism.
In October this year, the BMTC finally announced that it will acquire 150 electric buses on lease with the centre’s support under its flagship FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India) scheme.
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