Let us tell you that preparations are on to convert BEST buses completely to electric. For this, the Maharashtra government is buying 900 electric buses. The government plans to convert all diesel buses plying in the city to electric by 2028.
The Maharashtra government says that all BEST buses will either run entirely on electric or they will be run on hydrogen fuel cells. It will depend on which medium will be best to run the buses.
The Maharashtra government is planning to induct new buses in BEST to meet the growing demand for public transport in Mumbai. Let us tell that 31 lakh passengers travel by bus daily in the city. The number of passengers may increase by another 1-2 lakh in the next one to two years.
The government has already approved 900 double-decker electric buses. In which 225 buses will be dropped by the end of this year. At the same time, the next 225 buses will be launched in March 2023 and the remaining 450 buses will be launched in June 2023.
Mumbai Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal has said that 15 per cent buses in Mumbai will be converted to electric by 2025, but BEST has said that it is working on a plan to convert 50 per cent buses to electric by 2025.
Charging stations are being built in 55 areas to charge electric buses. These charging stations are being built under a public-private partnership. In the next 3-4 months, many such public charging stations will be ready in Mumbai. People will also be able to charge their electric cars, bikes or scooters at these stations.
The Maharashtra government has set a target to include the state among the top states using maximum number of electric vehicles. For this, the government is giving incentives to promote electric vehicles. The government has approved Rs 930 crore for its EV policy with a target of 10 percent electric vehicles in all new vehicle registrations by March 2025.
The government is also planning to develop 2,375 public and semi-public charging stations in seven major cities and four national highways in the state. Earlier in August, Aaditya Thackeray inaugurated an EV enabled parking lot at Kohinoor Bhawan in Mumbai.