Tamil Nadu Abandoned Plans To Purchase New Electric Buses

Tamil Nadu Abandoned Plans To Purchase New Electric Buses
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Tamil Nadu Purchase New Electric Buses (Photo/timesofindia)

Highlights

  • Tamil Nadu secretly abandoned plans to purchase new electric buses under the Union government's Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) programme.
  • The Union government proposed a subsidy ranging from Rs 35 lakh to Rs 55 lakh per bus within the plan.

Tamil Nadu secretly abandoned plans to purchase new electric buses under the Union government's Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) programme.

Under the second phase of the FAME scheme, the Union Ministry of Heavy Industries granted the sanction of 525 ebuses for Coimbatore, Salem, Tirupur, Erode, Vellore, Trichy, Villupuram, and Thanjavur in 2020.

The Union government proposed a subsidy ranging from Rs 35 lakh to Rs 55 lakh per bus within the plan, based on the length of the bus body and the charging infrastructure necessary to keep the vehicles running.

On the condition of anonymity, a senior state transportation department official remarked that the subsidy amount was nowhere near the price of an electric bus.

According to early predictions, the state would lose more than 20 per km. There was also no information on how much it would cost to replace the battery. As a result, Tamil Nadu had no choice but to revoke tenders issued in this regard, according to the official. While the FAME scheme has also been resisted by governments due to strong resistance from transportation workers' unions.

State-run transportation corporations/undertakings (STUs) are not permitted to make an outright purchase under the plan. It prevented states from making large investments in a technology that is still in its infancy. Furthermore, STUs would enter into a Gross Cost Contract with the winning bidder with the operator's crew operating them on government routes.

Apart from Tamilnadu, procuring e-buses through the FAME plan has proven to be a difficult and near-impossible task for states such as Karnataka, which recently completed the fifth round of tender, Kerala, and Telangana.

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