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CM rolls out first electric bus in Chennai
In a first, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Monday flagged off 32-seater battery-operated air-conditioned bus for the public usage at the secretariat.
The electric bus would be operated on a trial basis in the route number A1 between Tiruvanmiyur and Central via Adyar and Mylapore making two trips each in the morning and evening.
Palaniswami, his Deputy O Panneerselvam, Transport Minister MR Vijayabhaskar and a host of Ministers and government officials travelled in the bus at the Secretariat as part of the launch ceremony. The battery-operated bus, was provided by automobile major Ashok Leyland.
The passengers will be charged deluxe bus service fare of a minimum of Rs 11 and a maximum of Rs 25. No concession passes issued by the MTC would be valid for travel in the electric bus.
The bus will be driven by a staff of Ashok Leyland while Metropolitan Transport Corporation would depute its conductor.
The bus that can seat 32 people is equipped with a host of features, including air suspension facilities, GPS besides automatic doors.
The electric buses are fitted with ‘fire detection and suppression system’ and can travel up to 200 km on a day after swapping the batteries for every 40 km.
“Fire deduction and suppression system (FDSS) fitted in the bus and it will monitor the battery’s state of charge and temperature. In the event of leakage of power, the FDSS will automatically arrest power supply. The I- Alert System will enable the monitoring of the system through remote control,” Karthik Ganesh, head marketing, Electric Vehicle, Ashok Leyland said.
He said that the 65-kilowatt battery could be manually replaced at the Central depot on Pallavan Salai. “The battery can be recharged fully within an hour,” he said, adding that the second bus to be provided by the company for the trial operation would have fast charging facility. “The second bus will have six batteries of 65-kilowatt capacity each. It can be charged fully in three hours during the night,” he added.
In July 2017, a trail test for an electric bus was conducted in Chennai. Followed by this, in June 2018 the state government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with England-based C-40 Cities Climate Leadership Group to manufacture electric buses. The proposal was to introduce 200 electric buses in Tamil Nadu.
Besides, the Union government has sanctioned 525 electric buses for the state under Phase-II of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India Scheme (FAME India Scheme).
On the road
- To be operated between Central and Tiruvanmiyur
- It has capacity to carry 57 passengers
- Maximum speed is 100km/hour
- Ashok Leyland will operate the buses on behalf of MTC
- The bus will have two batteries. One battery if charged for an hour will run for 50 kms
- Facilities include stop announcement, cameras, airbags and automatic doors