APSRTC again launches a call for tenders for the operation of air-conditioned electric buses, Energy News, ET EnergyWorld

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The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation has again issued a call for tenders for the selection of fleet operators for the purchase, operation and maintenance of 350 air-conditioned electric buses in various cities of the state. The RTC had abandoned in December 2019 its first offer to integrate electric buses into its fleet after the Statutory Judicial Preview Commission asked it to abandon this decision, opposing the payment of Rs 45 lakh as a subsidy per bus .

In the new request for proposal launched in May, the RTC again provided for the extension of the subsidy of Rs 45 lakh per bus, but Judicial Preview Commission B judge Sivasankara Rao once again opposed this. saying “such a financial obligation of over Rs 157.50 crore is unsustainable and such an incentive is a loss to the board.”

As a result, the RTC modified the bid proposal and abandoned the subsidy clause.

With the Indian government extending Phase II of Faster (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicle (FAME) adoption and manufacture in India until June 30, the RTC is ramping up the process to take advantage of the on-demand incentive of Rs 55 lakh per bus, according to official sources. The deadline for submitting bids is June 9. The RTC originally planned to deploy 50 buses on the Tirupati-Tirumala ghat route, 100 each to Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam and 50 each to Kakinada and Amaravati, to operate on different routes in the respective regions. .

But now he has reduced the number to 50 in Vijayawada (over a million cities) and assigned them to Tirupati (smart city). The Judicial Preview Commission judge reiterated his suggestion that the RTC purchase BS-VI standard diesel buses rather than electric buses, as the technology was still in a developmental stage.

The RTC however justified the plan to introduce electric buses since the cost of diesel increased day by day. “From around Rs 62 in 2019, the price of diesel has reached almost Rs 100 per liter now. At the same time, the battery cost of an electric bus has fallen by 50% and the technology has stabilized. The operating cost per kilometer of an e-bus will now be almost identical to a diesel bus, which has risen to Rs 43, “a senior public transport official told PT I.

In addition, the cost of electricity would be over Rs 35 per kilometer for an air-conditioned diesel bus compared to just Rs 6.76 (9 meters) and Rs 8.11 (12 meters) for an electric bus, he said. highlighted. The 350 e-buses would represent only 3% of the total RTC fleet of 11,300 and he plans to add 650 more in the next phase.

The RTC has installed solar power plants at its depots in Madanapalle, Kakinada, Nandyala and Chittoor. “There is a proposal to expand rooftop solar power units at all bus stations and RTC depots across the state. This will help us lower the cost of electricity, which could also be used for charging. batteries for electric buses, ”the official said. mentionned.



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