The Transport Department of Himachal Pradesh has crossed a major milestone with the successful trial of the electric bus at the Rohtang Pass, at around 13,050 feet.
But the major hurdle for this electric buses will be the ground clearance. On the hilly roads, the ground clearance of these buses is not sufficient. Ground clearance refers to the distance between the ground and the axle of the vehicle.
Two or three more companies are lined up to test their electric buses in the coming days to come. The state transport department wants enhanced ground clearance for smooth operation of the buses.
These electric buses are intended to ply between Manali and Rohtang and the state government wants to begin this service by next summer.
Himachal Pradesh became the maiden state in the country to run an electric bus at an altitude of 13,050 feet. This was not an easy task as it encountered many problems earlier.
The technical trial was conducted from Manali to Rohtang with 40 people onboard. The bus was tested for a distance of 50kms and it consumed only 28 to 30 percent of battery.
These electric buses will be introduced in the ecologically fragile Manali-Rohtang pass as per the directions of National Green Tribunal as the pollution during peak season was getting out of control.
Earlier the tribunal had suggested running CNG buses, but non-availability of CNG supply could not support the cause. As it will take time to set-up CNG stations.
Currently, there is a proposal to run 25 electric buses but this number will be increased to 50 at a later stage. The funding is done by the state and Central government in the ratio of 25 percent and 75 percent respectively.