Future bus technology

The federal government has unveiled an ambitious project to replace all public bus transport fleets with hybrid technology. The government launched the full indigenous retro-fitted electric bus, converting existing conventional fuel buses into electric buses, developed by KPIT Technologies and Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT).

A main hindrance to the adoption of new technology is the financial implication and capital cost. The average cost of a hybrid bus in India is around INR 23 million (US$ 375,000), compared to INR 9 million (US$ 150,000) for a premium diesel bus. In order to incentivise the operators to procure electric and hybrid buses, the federal government has launched the ‘Faster Adoption & Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid Vehicle (FAME)’ scheme to provide a subsidy of INR 6.1 million (US$ 100,000) for electric and hybrid buses.

Currently Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT) has procured five hybrid city buses from Volvo and MMRDA has procured 25 hybrid buses from Tata Motors. There are currently no fully electric buses in commercial operation. BYD has completed a pilot in Bangalore (2014) and Delhi (2016) to demonstrate electric bus technology.