Maharashtra Environment and Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray flagged off the launch of 60 electric buses from Mumbai's Worli Depot yesterday. Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar was also present on the occasion.
"Today @ErikSolheim sir and I launched 60 electric buses from the Worli Depot in presence of Mayor Kishori Pednekar ji, @AfrozShah1 and @NorwayCGMumbai . This completes our phase 1 of 386 electric buses and now we move towards phase 2 of 1900 electric buses for Mumbai," Thackeray tweeted.
"All of Mumbai’s current fleet of 386 buses will be powered by renewable energy. All new buses will be only electric, 1900 buses purchase tender launched and 200 electric double decker buses soon. By 2023, 50% and, by 2027 we aim to have 100% electric bus fleet for Mumbai," he wrote.
Thackeray stated that cities including Thane, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Sambhajinagar, Nagpur will also have their own electric bus fleets soon and the Maharashtra Environment and Climate change department is assisting them to that end.
"Likewise, all urban agglomerates from Maharashtra are committed to transition to clean transport, powered by clear energy. Thane, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Sambhajinagar, Nagpur are committed to have electric bus fleets from now on and @MahaEnvCC is assisting these cities actively," he wrote.
Meanwhile, a charging station at Worli Depot was also inaugurated by the Norwegian Consul General to Mumbai, Arne Jan Flølo. "Here, @NorwayCGMumbai Arne ji, inaugurating the charging infrastructure at the Worli BEST Bus depot. Norway is leading in EV sector and we intend to join the clean race for a better future for our planet," Thackeray further wrote.
Earlier last week, Aaditya Thackeray, while speaking at a function at the BMC headquarters said that the entire fleet of the BEST will comprise electric buses by 2028. He added that double-decker buses operated by the BEST will run on either electrical energy or hydrogen fuel cells, whichever is more capable.
Speaking on the occasion, Mumbai municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said the government has set a target of 15 per cent public transport based on electric vehicles by 2025, but going beyond that, the corporation has set a target of making 50 per cent of public transport based on electric vehicles by 2023.
Lokesh Chandra, general manager of BEST, said about 55 places have been selected in the metropolis to charge electric vehicles. "More charging stations will be set up there in the next 3 to 4 months through a public-private partnership. This will also enable the general public to charge their vehicles," he added.
(With PTI inputs)