The Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC), as part of its plan to convert conventional diesel buses into electric buses, is holding talks with private parties to retrofit diesel engines with electric ones and for other parts and necessary changes. At present, the Greater Hyderabad Zone (GHZ) of TSRTC is operating 40 fully electric buses on the airport route.
V Venkateshwarlu, Executive Director (GHZ), said the corporation was also waiting for necessary approvals and certification from the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) and the Transport Department regarding the proposal. The initiative would result in huge savings, he said.
ARAI is an autonomous body affiliated with the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises and is a prime testing and certification agency.
Earlier, the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation converted diesel buses into electric buses using battery swap technology and operated on the Tirumala that roads on an experimental basis. With the operation turning successful, the TSRTC has decided to adopt the same technology to ply buses on the city roads.
Once the talks and formalities are finalised, bus body manufacturers will begin the procedure of converting two diesel buses into electric ones using the latest technology.
According to Venkateshwarlu, using diesel, RTC is spending Rs 17 per km for each bus in the operation. The expenditure would come down to a mere Rs 6 with electric buses, he said, adding that with fuel prices rising and making it tough for the corporation, the RTC had decided to convert diesel buses to electric ones.
Meanwhile, 40 electric buses, which have been inducted into the city fleet, are witnessing good response from the passengers. RTC is earning Rs 37 per km in each bus through electric buses and catering to the needs of airport-bound passengers.