Maharashtra's Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray on Monday, October 4, said that every bus to be inducted in the fleet of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) will be an electric one. The minister added the entire fleet of the BEST will comprise electric buses by 2028.
Currently, BEST has a fleet size of 3,000, of which there are 386 EV buses. Thackeray, who is also the guardian minister of Mumbai suburban district, said double-decker buses operated by the BEST will run on either electrical energy or hydrogen fuel cells, whichever is more capable.
EV Charging Points In Mumbai
BEST also aims to set up 55 EV charging points in the city in the next three to four months followed by a mobile application for real-time updates on BEST buses by the end of December. The minister was speaking as a chairperson in a function at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation headquarters, where the civic body signed a Memorandum of Understanding for three initiatives namely— Women for Climate, Cities for Forests Campaign and e-Bus Mission, under the Mumbai Climate Change action plan.
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 city 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.
The minister also highlighted that the BMC has already implemented measures for the conservation and protection of the environment. "Sorting of wet-dry waste and planting of 2.5 lakh saplings under "Mazi Vasundhara Abhiman" for urban forestry in the last one-and-a-half years is part of it," he added.