The Brihan Mumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) inducted 24 new e-buses to its fleet on its 74th foundation day celebrations on Aug 7. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray flagged off the new buses. With the induction of these e-buses, the BEST’s total electric fleet now consists of 270 e-buses and another 140 will be joining the fleet by the end of August. The South Mumbai region will now fully be catered by e-buses only.
The New BEST e-Buses
The bus duty is carried out by the Tata Starbus electric buses which are 12 metres long and can seat 35 passengers. The bus is powered by a 245 kW motor that generates 145 kW (194.4 hp) power. The bus gets a 186 kWh battery which gives the bus a range of 150 km and can be fully charged in 2-3 hours with the help of a fast charger. The body shell of the buses is made by Tata Marcopolo Motors Ltd. which is a coach manufacturing joint venture between Tata Motors and Marcopolo S.A. These buses are air-conditioned, noise-free and pollution-free and have been customized to serve the FAME II requirements. These buses are a part of a larger 340 bus order that Tata Motors is to deliver in a phased manner. The Tata Group company will build, deploy, maintain and operate the complete charging infrastructure along with the buses.
Under the new EV policy, BEST is going to induct more e-buses into their fleet. BEST General Manager Lokesh Chandra said that the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has set a target of inducted 1,800 electric buses by mid-2023 which is 45% of the total buses that ply the streets of Mumbai.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray also mentioned that the government is planning to issue a BEST single-pass or ticket, which will be valid even on suburban trains and Metro rails for hassle-free commute for the citizens.