Electric buses to make debut in Guwahati next year
GUWAHATI, Aug 31: At a time when the State is faced with frequent power cuts and inadequate electrical infrastructures the Transport department organized an Electric Mobility Conclave here on Friday to work out an arrangement and mechanism to introduce an electric mode of transport raising questions about the feasibility of such project at this juncture.
‘As the world shifts to electric vehicles, the transition to EVs is essential for the Indian automobile industry to continue to retain its foothold and maintain the ecological balance. Additionally, this will also help improve India’s energy security by reducing the import dependency for energy,” Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said while addressing the conclave.
Electric vehicles also adhere to the government’s slogan of pollution-free Assam. The transport sector needs to embark on a trajectory in line with the targets of the Paris Agreement to limit global average temperature rise to below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels, he said.
Patowary said electric and methanol vehicles should be adopted for the betterment of our future generation and to protect our fragile earth. He informed that the Ministry of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping will give ten new buses to the Assam Government which would be run by methanol as a pilot project for public transportation creating a methanol economy as an alternative to high-cost petroleum products like diesel and petrol.
“Once the gas pipeline to Assam is completed, methanol production in the state will increase. Further, Assam Petrochemicals Limited is implementing a project for enhancing production of methanol from 125 ton per day to 500 ton per day,” he said.
Anand Prakash Tiwari, Managing Director, ASTC, stated that 14 electric buses will be procured in Phase-I as a pilot project under FAME policy. Special incentives will be provided to the operators for using electric vehicles. ‘Soon RFP will be floated for the purchase of electric buses to reduce diesel bus as well as pollution.’
He added that the Transport Department will augment all the suggestions from NTPC, APDCL, and other stakeholders in terms of infrastructure development, battery charging stations to create a policy for an emission-free ecosystem. Earlier in the day, there were panel discussions on various aspects of Electric Vehicles.
Ashutosh Agnihotri, Commissioner, and Secretary, Transport Department; Manoj Kumar, Commissioner, Transport and representatives from Ashok Leyland, Tata Motors attended the conclave.