The rapid development of innovative technology has changed the way of life in all aspects, starting from communication to transportation. Technology has made it more feasible for us to lead a convenient everyday life. In transportation, technology has gradually developed, for instance, starting with trains to metro railways. Another most current advancement of technology in the transportation sector is the electric bus. New electric buses are powered by electricity rather than engines and oils. Electric buses have the capability to store the required electricity on-board, as well as be fed incessantly from any external sources which will provide the required power.
Evolution of Bus
In India, buses have been one of the main ways of transportation for the population for a very long time. The first bus model introduced in the Indian transportation sector was single-deck buses and chassis. Ashok Leyland introduced the single deck buses and Tata Motors introduced chassis buses. Till now in India, these two types of buses are the main lead way of commute for the people. All the school buses and normal commute buses in India are single decks. However, for a certain period of time, in many places of India, double-decker buses have been witnessed. At the current time, The Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation still operates double-decker buses on the streets of Chittagong and Dhaka. Previously, in India, Kolkata; Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, and Hyderabad are the main places where double-decker buses have been seen on the streets. Now for the past few years, double-decker buses are discontinued on the roads of India.
However, for many decades single deck buses and chassis have been dominating the transportation sector of India in form of a simple way of commuting to cover small to medium distances. After decades, Indian transportation has upgraded its chassis buses into low-floor single-decker buses, considering the convenience of the passengers. These types of buses are nearer to the ground compared to the other single-decker buses. With this upgraded facility in the buses, it has become easier for the daily bus passengers to get in and get out. Additionally, another up-gradation of buses in India is the addition of air conditioners in the buses. Most of the cities in India are highly populated and in scorching summer in India, it is impossible to travel in a bus with overloaded passengers. And as buses are the main way of commute, bus manufacturers came up with a great idea of adding ac in buses. Still, not all buses in India have ac. But the ones that have also cost a little bit extra compared to other buses.
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Introduction of Electric Buses in India
The first trial of a new electric bus in India took place in 2014, in Bangalore through BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) operator. After the successful trial conducted by BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation), several other countries started to execute the same including Mumbai, Chandigarh, and Hyderabad. And all these countries were also successful in the trail of new electric buses. In October 2016, the first completely India-made new electric bus was launched by the Ashok Leyland. However, through conducting all these trials, various issues and challenges have been identified which can be witnessed by an electric bus on the roads of India. For instance, one of the most critical challenges which would be faced is that few electric buses can only run a maximum of up to 250 kilometers with four hours of charging. Later, it would require more charging. It broke the confidence regarding the fact that an electric bus can travel for a longer time with a single charge.
After all these trials from 2014, the first inner-city new electric bus service was launched in 2019, which commutes from Mumbai to Pune. The Indian Government has permitted the launching of approximately 5,500 new electric buses in 64 cities. It has been decided that from 2019, cities like Pune, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad join Mumbai for the operation of new electric buses. But till now the availability of these new long-range electric buses is quite low in the cities like Kolkata, Mumbai and many others. But quite soon the availability will increase as the demand for these new electric buses is also upsurging drastically.
Current Demand for Electric Buses in India
Considering the emerging trend of implementing and developing sustainable business approaches, the larger companies in India, specifically automotive companies are focusing on reducing carbon emission and reinforcing the zero-carbon concept. It is one of the main reasons for the increasing demand for new electric buses in India. Additionally, state governments are completely supporting and inviting tenders as much as possible regarding purchasing electric buses. The Indian Government aims to utilize new electric buses for public commute facilities with full fledge. This approach of the state governments has provided a direct indication to the automotive manufacturers, specifically the ones who have started to produce new electric buses to manufacture a sufficient number of electric buses to meet the demand and requirements of all.
Larger automotive companies in India like Tata Motors; Ashok Leyland; Eicher Motors; Olectra Greentech; and JBM Auto; all are on a roll as regions like Maharashtra and Karnataka send large orders for electric buses. Currently, Aaditya Thackeray, the minister of Maharashtra environment announced that the whole public transport of Mumbai will be based on the electric vehicle by 2028. On the other hand, the Karnataka government has stated that it would require a total of 1,500 electric buses within the next three years. Other cities like Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Amravati, and Aurangabad among many others, aims to do the same. Therefore, it can be said that in the upcoming years most of the states in India will be successfully able to implement electric transportation for reducing carbon footprint with the moto of zero carbon emission.