Mumbai’s BEST Issues Tender for 1,900 Electric Buses

Mumbai’s BEST (the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply & Transport Undertaking) has issued tenders for procuring 1,900 fully electric buses, signalling one of the biggest electric bus fleet expansions in the country. It will issue tenders in the next few days for procuring 200 double deckers, which will also be fully electric, according to media reports.

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“We want to make nearly 50% of our fleet electric by 2023,” BEST general manager Lokesh Chandra said on Monday evening. “We have floated the tender for 1,900 buses which will include 1,400 full-length buses of 12 metres, 100 Mini buses and 400 Midi buses,” he said.

The maximum period, as per the tender notice, for procuring the 1,900 buses is one-and-a-half years, with 25% new electric bus procurement (475 buses) for Mumbai in six months, 25% in the next six months and 50% thereafter.

The state government’s Electric Vehicle policy calls for the public transport undertaking maintaining a 15% fleet as ‘electric’ by 2025. Chandra said that the BEST has taken this target seriously. At present, the BEST has charging stations at four bus depots, but it will soon increase this facility to all 27 depots.

Meanwhile, BJP group leader in BMC Prabhakar Shinde alleged irregularities in BEST’s tender process for digital ticketing, and said that a company was reportedly favoured for a contract.

The Maharashtra government is also planning to expand its EV fleet for public transport to other parts of the state soon. Aaditya Thackeray wrote, “Very happy to hear that @myBESTBus has put out tender notice for 1900 fully electric buses. Currently, Mumbai has 386 electric buses. The @MahaEnvCC is also assisting other cities in Maharashtra to increase their bus fleets with help of policies of GoI & GoM.”

The government also plans to develop 2,375 public and semi-public charging stations across seven major cities in the state and four national highways. Earlier in August, Thackeray inaugurated an EV enabled parking lot at the Koninoor building in Mumbai.

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