West Bengal government to add 2,000 electric buses to its fleet
The West Bengal government is adding 2,000 electric buses to its fleet with an aim to reduce vehicular pollution in the state. It is also working on converting at least 3,000 diesel-run buses into CNG-powered vehicles in the next few years, state Transport Minister Firhad Hakim told PTI. At present, 80 electric buses are deployed in Kolkata while a pilot project for turning 30 fossil fuel-run buses into CNG-operated ones has already been accomplished.
The state government is looking at a timeline of next three to four years to add these electric buses to its fleet. However, currently, production of e-buses is less due to the lack of supply for lithium battery. The core objective behind this initiative is to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and promote green mobility in the state.
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Speaking about the challenges related to charging infrastructure for such vehicles, Hakim said that currently there are 76 such facilities. “Urban transportation will soon become completely electric & old buses are being converted to CNG in full swing," he added.
Elaborating on the initiative related to conversion of combustion engine buses into environment-friendly ones, Hakim said that the department is planning to convert 30,000 buses in a phased manner. “We have converted diesel engines to CNG ones in 30 buses and the trial run was encouraging," he added.
Further, to encourage motorists to adopt electric vehicles, the West Begal government has exempted battery-powered vehicles from paying registration fees, motor vehicles and other taxes, the minister said on the sidelines of a programme organised by a civil society organisation EnGIO in association with Prabha Khaitan Foundation on the occasion of World Environment Day.
(with inputs from PTI)