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Low running cost, zero breakdowns push Pune’s PMPML to add 500 e-buses to fleet

PMPML was among the first few public transport bodies to acquire e-buses. Considering the operational advantages and low cost of fuel, PMPML decided to jack up its fleet with 500 electric buses.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: September 30, 2021 4:03:42 pm
Pune: PMPML to soon add 500 electric buses to its fleetPMPML’s expenditure on fuel has come down because of electric buses. (Express File/Representative)

With the Maharashtra government making it compulsory for all government, civic and zilla parishad offices to use electric vehicles as their mode of transport, Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML), the city’s transport undertaking, is preparing to step up acquisition.

PMPML was among the first few public transport bodies to acquire e-buses. Considering the operational advantages and low cost of fuel, PMPML decided to jack up its fleet with 500 electric buses.

Presently, it has a fleet of 1,305 buses that are owned by it. Additionally, it has 900 buses that were taken on contract from private parties and also run by them under the norms set by the PMPML administration. Of the total number of buses, PMPML has 150 electric buses. The rest are either diesel or CNG buses. Almost all the private contracts are either CNG or electric buses.

“We are in the process of roping in 500 more electric buses to add to our fleet of 150 electric buses,” PMPML chief coordinator Sunil Burse told The Indian Express.

Officials said PMPML will not purchase the buses with its own funds as the transport undertaking will not be able to shoulder the cost amid depleting finances.

“Each PMPML electric bus costs around Rs 2 crore while the cost of a diesel bus is around Rs 45 lakh. In view of the high cost, we will rope in contractors. It serves our purpose. We don’t have to shell out money to purchase them and spend on their maintenance and fuel,” officials said.

The biggest advantage electric buses provide for PMPML is on the breakdown front. Since a year-and-a-half, when PMPML started roping in electric buses, breakdown of these buses is almost zero. “A couple of electric buses may have broken down but that is because of flat tyres. Otherwise, there have been almost zero breakdowns of electric buses,” said PMPML chief engineer Anant Waghmare.

For years, PMPML’s buses, especially the diesel-run, have given commuters a nightmare with breakdowns becoming a common feature. In the past, PMPML used to register more than 30 breakdowns a day. “Now, because of the presence of electric buses in our fleet, the breakdowns have come down to 20 a day. As more and more electric buses become available, there will be a drastic reduction in the breakdown of buses,” said Waghmare.

PMPML’s expenditure on fuel has also come down because of electric buses.

“The per kilometre cost of diesel buses is Rs 30 while for CNG it is Rs 20 and for electric buses, we have to pay Rs 10 an hour. An electric bus has to be recharged for three hours. After which, it can be run for 150 km. For charging an electric bus for three hours, we incur an expenditure of around Rs 1,500. The expenditure to run a diesel bus is Rs 4,500 for 150 km, which shows how much we can save on electric buses,” he said.

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