India’s leading technology hub, Bangalore, has become the first city in the country to add an all-electric bus to its public transport fleet. The air-conditioned 31-seat coach is from China’s BYD and is similar to those running in a number of cities around the world. The bus has been put on trial basis for three months. When fully charged, the e-bus can make about eight trips along the route where it has been deployed. A battery charging station has been set up at one of the city’s bus depots.
While switching entirely to e-buses could be a long term measure, the Karnataka government is looking at cutting pollution caused by public transportation. A report by India’s Centre for Science and Environment released in 2013 identified Bangalore as one among 14 cities that have high levels of particulate matter.
In his budget speech last month, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the state government will soon introduce buses running on compressed natural gas (CNG). According to a World Bank study, CNG-fueled vehicles emit 83 percent less carbon monoxide, 58 percent less nitrogen oxide and 97 percent less particulate matter than diesel-powered equivalents. The BMTC, the transport company that runs buses in Bangalore, currently operates 6,472 buses with 4.9 million passengers using its services daily.