Tamil Nadu government has unveiled an electric bus that will be operated on a trial basis on specific routes through Chennai
As part of measures to keep a check on the rising air pollution levels, the Tamil Nadu government has unveiled a battery-powered electric air-conditioned bus that would be operated on a trial basis on specific routes by the Metropolitan Transport Corporation in Chennai.
Built by Hinduja Group flagship firm Ashok Leyland, the roll-out of the bus comes against the backdrop of the state government signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the London-based ‘C-40 Cities Climate Leadership Group” in March 2018.
Accordingly, the Centre has given its consent to the government to operate 525 electric buses in Chennai, Coimbatore, Tiruchirappalli, Madurai, Erode, Tiruppur, Salem, Vellore and Thanjavur.
Chief Minister K Palaniswami flagged off the electric bus at the Secretariat. Palaniswami, his Deputy O Panneerselvam, Transport Minister M R Vijayabhaskar and a host of ministers and government officials travelled in the bus for a few km from the Secretariat as part of the launch ceremony.
The electric buses are fitted with ‘fire detection and suppression system’ and can travel upto 120 km on a single charge. The bus that can seat 32 people is equipped with a host of features including air suspension facilities, GPS facility besides automatic doors.
An Ashok Leyland official said “the bus has no gear box, no engine and (hence) no pollution.”
The buses would be run for three to four months on a trial basis.
The Tamil Nadu government has been pitching for vehicles that are run on alternative sources of energy. Recently, Palaniswami had unveiled an electric car ‘KONA’ manufactured by Korean-auto maker Hyundai at the Secretariat.
Ashok Leyland had unveiled the electric bus ‘CIRCUIT’ designed and engineered in India “with zero-emission vehicle suitable for Indian road and load conditions,” last year.
Earlier this month, the Department of Heavy Industries has approved 5595 electric buses under the FAME India scheme phase II. The ministry also said that these buses will run about 4 billion kilometres during their contract period and are expected to save cumulatively about 1.2 billion liters of fuel over the contract period, which will result into avoidance of 2.6 million tonnes of CO2 emission.