India

Mumbai Invites Tenders For 1,900 Electric Buses

Mumbai’s transport authority BEST has invited tenders for 1,900 fully electric buses for Mumbai. BEST, with a present fleet of 386 electric buses, plans to complete procuring these additional buses by mid-2023.

The electric buses tendered include 1,400 that are to be 12-metre AC electric buses, 400 will be 9-metre AC electric buses and the remaining 100 will be mini-AC electric buses. The government will also issue tenders for procuring 200 fully-electric double-decker buses in the next few days.

The Maharashtra government recently announced its EV Policy 2021, which aims to electrify public transport in Mumbai and other cities including Pune, Nagpur, Nashik, Aurangabad and Amravati. The policy stipulates that public transport companies must have 15% of their fleets electric by 2025.

BEST currently has charging stations at four bus depots and aims to increase this to all 27 depots. The BEST bus fleet currently includes 386 electric buses. The transport authority plans to complete procuring the 1,900 electric buses by mid-2023 in phases and should make up 50% of BEST’s bus fleet on Mumbai roads by 2023.

“This will help increase the electric bus fleet in Mumbai providing clean mobility and cutting down emissions. The Department of Environment and Climate Change is working hard to take this to other cities of Maharashtra under State and Central Government policies,” said Aaditya Thackeray, minister for environment, tourism and protocol, government of Maharashtra.

This is the second electric vehicle tender that has run into the thousands of units that we have reported from India this year. Just last month CESL opened a tender for 100,000 light electric vehicles.

Electric mobility got a boost this year in India. The government extended the FAME II subsidies program in June this year. FAME II was originally scheduled to run until the end of 2022 and has now been extended until 31 May 2024. The FAME II subsidy programme provides for subsidies with a total value of the equivalent of $1.4 billion. In summer 2019 and early 2020, for example, grants were already approved for almost 5,600 electric buses and 2,636 charging stations. This year, the manufacturing of electric vehicles in the country is also to be incentivised while famously high import duties for electric vehicles may be dropped.