Highlighting the benefits of e-bus, a transport department officer said, “While the expenditure for non-AC buses is Rs 35 per kilometre, for AC buses it is Rs 50
Kolkata: The city’s e-bus fleet has been salvaging the situation by meeting travel demands of commuters at a time when state transport undertakings (STUs), like West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC), cut down their fleets of fuel-guzzling AC and non-AC buses because of spiralling bills.
Electric buses, which are powered by rechargeable lithium ion batteries, are running at optimum capacities to meet the heightened demand. A large number of private buses have also gone off the roads due to non-viability of operations.
Highlighting the benefits of e-bus, a transport department officer said, “While the expenditure for non-AC buses is Rs 35 per kilometre, for AC buses it is Rs 50. But for an electric bus, the expenditure is as low as Rs 12/km. With the WBTC going through a rough patch, an electric bus gives major relief. Add to that the immense environmental benefits.”
WBTC, which met the city’s commute demands during the lockdown, ran into huge debts because of low earnings from fares, ferrying migrant labourers to their homes and ferrying frontline health workers. Even during the unlock period, the earning from fares was much lower compared to pre-lockdown revenue. During the pre-lockdown days, WBTC used to earn Rs 53 lakh a day from fares. This dropped to Rs 27 lakh and the unpaid fuel bill rose to Rs 5 crore. Out of its fleet size of over 800 buses on the road, only 300-400 buses run daily. Under these circumstances, the full fleet of 75 e-buses have come in handy.
WBTC has already started installing rooftop solar power plants for producing electricity for its charging facilities.
Source: Economic Times