The Centre has sanctioned 100 electric buses to Visakhapatnam as part of phase II of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) India scheme. Visakhapatnam is one among the 64 cities across the country that will soon be getting the electric vehicles in an effort towards battling air pollution.
While three other cities in Andhra Pradesh have also been sanctioned electric buses under the scheme, it may be noted that Visakhapatnam has been granted the highest number, given the number of travellers from the city. Among the 300 electric buses sanctioned to the state, 100 have been sanctioned to Visakhapatnam, while 50 have been sanctioned to each of Vijayawada, Kakinada, Tirupati, and Amaravati.
Each of the electric buses, which are expected to arrive in Visakhapatnam soon, is 12 meters long and has a seating capacity of 39 people. While a bus costs around Rs 2.5 crore, the subsidy under the Centre’s scheme amounts to about Rs 45 lakh. The buses are estimated to run for about 250-300 km on a full charge. Initially, the APSRTC officials are likely to operate these buses along the routes of Narsipatnam, Vizianagaram, Kakinada, Simhachalam, Anakapalle, Chodavaram, Kothavalasa, before bringing them on to other routes. The charging stations and workshops are likely to find a place at the APSRTC’s Simhapuri Layout (near Simhachalam).
Earlier the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) and the Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) has submitted proposals to the Centre requesting the sanctioning of electric buses to the city. While the GVMC had requested 100 buses, the APSRTC had made a proposal for 200 buses.
What is FAME scheme?
The FAME scheme aims at promoting of Electric Mobility in the country. Phase 2 of the scheme, which was recently approved by the Central Government, has a total budgetary outlay of Rs 10,000 crore over a period of three years, commencing from 1 April 2019. The scheme is an extended version of FAME India 1, which was launched in April 2015, with a budget of Rs 895 crore.
As the name suggests. the scheme promotes the faster adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles in India by providing incentives on the purchase of electric vehicles. Under the FAME scheme, the authorities would also establish the necessary charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.