Lower operating costs, subsidies boost e-bus sales
Lower operating costs and the availability of subsidies by the government have acted as incentives for manufacturers of commercial vehicles to focus more on the production of electric buses.
According to a report by ICRA, electric buses accounted for 3.6% of the total bus volume in FY 2012.
“There has been a significant increase in the electrification of urban mass transport in the country, mainly through various schemes and incentives by the government such as FAME, GST adaptation, production linked incentive scheme, tax subsidy and power subsidy for Electric Vehicles (EVs). has been pushed. ),” Rohit Srivastava, VP, Product Line – Buses, Tata MotorsTold FE.
Tata Motors currently offers the Starbus Electric models in the 9-metre and 12-metre segments. The company has already sold around 650 electric buses, which have covered a total distance of 36 million km. It has recently emerged as the lowest bidder for the largest electric bus tender floated by Convergence Energy Services (CESL). “The operating cost of electric buses has come down by 25-30% in the last five years. With government incentives and the Gross Cost Contract (GCC) business model, the operating cost per kilometer for electric buses is already lower than that of conventional diesel-powered buses,” Srivastava said.
Switch Mobility, the EV arm of the commercial vehicle major Ashok Leyland, is developing a wide range of buses to cater to the intra-city and intercity categories. Having already sold 115 electric buses in India, the company has an order book of 600 units, which will be operational in this financial year.
Mahesh Babu, Director and CEO, Switch Mobility India said that due to the fuel cost, the operating cost of electric buses is almost four times less than that of conventional buses.
“The city buses are on a 10-12 year GCC contract, which reduces the TCO over the years. With this model and the current subsidies from the government, electric city buses have already become a viable option in the country,” Babu said.
Nishant Arya, VC and MD, JBM AutoIn view of climate change issues and rising oil import bills, electric buses have largely emerged as the future of public transport.
JBM Auto showcased its first electric bus in 2016 and currently, its electric buses, including the Eco-Life model, are running in various applications in Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, Gujarat, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar. and platform. The company is also planning to introduce new variants and platforms of electric buses in various cities of India.
Arya said, “As a company, we have promised that our electric buses will cover a distance of 1 billion kilometers in the next three-four years.”
Sudhir Mehta, President, EKA and Pinnacle Industries, said that the government’s target of achieving net-zero emissions by 2070, various policy initiatives and state government incentives have focused on electric buses and overall commercial electric mobility.
While EKA recently launched its first 9-metre electric city bus, the EKA E9, the company plans to introduce a further 12-metre electric bus and a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to the market. “Initially we plan to focus on private sales (for staff carriers and school buses), government sales (for both battery electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles) and development of intercity coaches,” Mehta said.
Mehta said the capital expenditure and operating expenditure cost for both electric and ICE buses with a daily range of more than 250 km are now almost the same. “It is imperative for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to optimize costs and enhance the viability of EVs,” he said.