Currently, the West Bengal Transport Corporation runs 80 E Buses. The bus operations have received international recognition due to efficient operations and integration with stakeholders.The fleet of E Buses at WBTC would see a major augmentation as 50 new E buses would be added to the E Bus fleet very soon. The addition would take the total to 130 electric buses.
The WBTC has finalised the supply, operation & maintenance with charging & civil Infrastructure for 50 numbers of AC electric buses.
The buses are expected by the end of 2020.The buses would operate from 3 depots- Newtown, Balaka and Shapoorji. Recently, the International Energy Agency featured Kolkata electric buses’ success story in its flagship publication Global Electric Vehicle Outlook (GEVO) 2020. Kolkata shared the spot amongst 4 cities in the world globally.
The Kolkata model highlighted by the IEA showed the important role that electrifying public transport can play in reducing local air pollution and climate change emissions. Kolkata shared the spot with Shenzhen, China; Helsinki, Finland; and Santiago, Chile. Currently, a third of particulate matter pollutants from transport in Kolkata come from buses, due to the comparatively high pollution associated with the conventional fleet. Since 2019, the WBTC has introduced 80 domestically manufactured e-buses.
Now, further 50 will enter service in before the end of 2020.Increased deployment of e-buses also incentivizes local manufacturing and stimulates the industry to move towards electrification.Expanding the e-buses fleet can directly lead to cleaner air locally, as well as contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. By 2030, it is expected that the e-buses will reduce annual CO2 emissions by almost 200,000 tonnes.
Furthermore, the WBTC is planning to solarize bus depots along with the use of battery storage, thereby further contributing to decarbonising the transport system.Aside from cutting down on air pollution, the transition to electric public transport also makes financial sense since battery-operated buses are cheaper to run, at a third of the operational costs of a diesel bus. With large scale deployment, it is envisaged that even the capital costs of these buses, which are currently high, will come down in the near future, as seen in other countries.All these steps are taking Kolkata to a path of sustainable green mobility.