Charging points for e-buses to be ready by November 1: Government

The first phase of setting up charging infrastructure at depots for 1,000 electric buses will be completed by November 1, the Delhi government said on Thursday.

The government expects to roll out Delhi’s first 37 electric buses by December before the model code of conduct for the Delhi assembly election kicks in.

These decisions were taken at a high-level meeting on Wednesday convened by power minister Satyendar Jain and transport minister Kailash Gahlot with stakeholders.

The meeting was convened to resolve the deadlock between the transport and power departments over the time taken to complete electricity work at the e-bus depots.

“We have finally agreed upon a common timeline for setting up charging infrastructure at seven depots. All electricity-related works at the depots will be completed maximum by December this year. The power distribution companies have assured they will finish the first phase of work by November 1,” Gahlot said.

The minister said the government was trying to roll out 37 of the total 1,000 low-floor AC electric buses by December.

The power department had earlier said setting up charging infrastructure would take about 18 months.

Gahlot said a pre-bid meeting for the e-buses is scheduled on Monday. Any concessionaire will have to roll out 10% of the first cluster of buses within four months of the work being awarded. On March 10, the Delhi government had issued global tenders for 375 of the 1,000 electric buses.

Government officials involved in the project said the concessionaires would be given the option of choosing from two types of charging models. One, where the bus is charged once a day, preferably overnight, and operated during the day. One such bus would cost approximately Rs 1.75 crore.

The second is where the buses would require charging even during its operational period. These buses would cost Rs 1.5 crore each.

According to the project approved by the cabinet in March, the 1,000 e-buses will come fitted with CCTVs, automatic vehicle tracking system, panic buttons and panic alarms. The government, however, has not yet provided a timeline on when it will float the next global tender for the remaining 625 e-buses. Officials said that the roll-out of the remaining e-buses is likely to take off only after March-April next year as Delhi will go to polls again early next year, which means the model code of conduct will be in place during January, February and even March, in all likelihood.

First Published:
May 31, 2019 05:26 IST

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