100 New E-buses to Run in Andhra Padesh’s Temple-town Tirupati

Highlights :

  • The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation has issued the Letter of Award to Evey Trans Private Limited to operate 100 electric buses in temple-town Tirupati under the Centre’s FAME-II scheme.
  • Evey, a subsidiary of Olectra Greentech Limited, has bagged the Rs 140 crore contract for a 12-year period on Gross Cost Contract basis.

The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation has issued the Letter of Award to Evey Trans Private Limited to operate 100 electric buses in temple-town Tirupati under the Centre’s FAME-II scheme.

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Evey, a subsidiary of Olectra Greentech Limited, has bagged the Rs 140 crore contract for a 12-year period on Gross Cost Contract basis, a company release said on Monday.

Of the 100, 50 e-buses will be operated on the Tirupati-Tirumala ghat section and the remaining on inter-city routes to Nellore, Kadapa and Madanapalle from Tirupati. The e-buses will be rolled out over 12 months beginning January 2022.

In June this year, the APSRTC invited bids from fleet operators for operating 350 air-conditioned electric buses in Tirupati (100), Visakhapatnam (100), Vijayawada (100) and Kakinada (50).

“We could not select the operator for other cities as the rates they quoted were high. So, we dropped the plan to ply 250 e-buses in Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and Kakinada,” APSRTC Managing Director Ch Dwaraka Tirumala Rao said.

After reverse tendering and intense bargaining, Evey has been chosen to operate 100 nine-metre e-buses from Tirupati, he said.

Dwaraka Tirumala Rao said the Centre on October 28 agreed to extend subsidy under Phase-II of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid&) Electric Vehicles (FAME).

Under FAME-II, the Centre grants a demand incentive of Rs 55 lakh per bus. Accordingly, the Evey bid was finalised, the RTC MD added.

The RTC had in December 2019 aborted its first bid to induct electric buses into its fleet after the statutory Judicial Preview Commission asked it to drop the move, objecting to the payment of Rs 45 lakh as subsidy per bus.

Judicial Preview Commission judge B Sivasankara Rao objected to it saying, “such financial obligation of more than Rs 157.50 crore (on the state government) is non-viable and such a huge incentive is a loss to the exchequer”.

Accordingly, the RTC amended the bid proposal and dropped the subsidy clause. The RTC has installed solar power plants at its depots in Madanapalle, Kakinada, Nandyala and Chittoor.

On receiving the LoA from APSRTC, Olectra Chairman and Managing Director K V Pradeep said their e-buses were now plying successfully in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Surat, Dehradun, Silvassa, Goa and in Himachal Pradesh and Kerala.

With APSRTC’s order, Olectra’s total order book has now touched 1,450 e-buses. Of these, 400 have already been delivered, Pradeep said in a release.

The lithium-ion battery installed in the bus enables it to travel around 180-km on a single charge, based on traffic and passenger load conditions, he added.

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