Mangaluru: If all goes well, electric buses will start plying on roads of coastal cities in Karnataka too. After BMTC, KSRTC has also proposed to procure 50 electric buses, which are expected to be utilized in the coastal zone.
Two routes from the Mangaluru division are being considered for the introduction of e-buses. One along the Bhatkal-Mangaluru route and the other towards the Southern route of Mangalur -Kasaragod.
According to officials, operating the e-buses on Bengaluru-Mangaluru will not be feasible. An electric bus can travel up to 250 km on a single charge. With the paucity of charging stations, at least for now, e-buses will not be pressed into action along the route.
KSRTC’s Managing Director V. Anbukumar said that the organization will procure 50 electric buses in the first phase. There were some technical delays but the buses are expected to arrive in about a month’s time. The buses will be distributed to various zones later. Priority is being given to the coastal areas, he added.
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The buses are being procured from Olectra Greentec Ltd, an electric vehicle manufacturer. Olectra has been entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining the buses as well as supplying bus drivers. KSRTC will appoint bus conductors. Buses will have 43 comfortable pushback seats and air conditioning just like Volvo buses. Each bus is estimated to cost around Rs 1.8 crores.
KSRTC is also readying itself to install EV charging stations in a phase-wise manner at all bus depots where electric buses will be deployed.
The electricity distribution company, MESCOM, has installed several EV charging stations in and around Mangaluru. These are located at sub-divisional offices at Mannagudda, Jeppu, Ullal, and Kavoor, among others. Charging points are also installed at its corporate office at Bejai in the city.