The BEST has issued tenders for procuring 1,900 fully electric buses, signalling one of the biggest electric bus fleet expansions in the country. It will issue tenders in the next few days for procuring 200 double deckers, which will also be fully electric, sources said.
“We want to make nearly 50% of our fleet electric by 2023,” BEST general manager Lokesh Chandra said on Monday evening. “We have floated the tender for 1,900 buses which will include 1,400 full-length buses of 12 metres, 100 Mini buses and 400 Midi buses,” he said.
The maximum period, as per the tender notice, for procuring the 1,900 buses is one-and-a-half years, with 25% new electric bus procurement (475 buses) for Mumbai in six months, 25% in the next six months and 50% thereafter.
The state government’s Electric Vehicle policy calls for the public transport undertaking maintaining a 15% fleet as ‘electric’ by 2025. Chandra said that the BEST has taken this target seriously. At present, the BEST has charging stations at four bus depots, but it will soon increase this facility to all 27 depots.