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Electric buses will soon ply on intercity routes in Karnataka. According to reports, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is set to introduce electric buses on four medium-range intercity routes.
The electric buses will replace the diesel-powered Volvo buses that currently ply on these routes. For a long time now, KSRTC has been regarded as one of the best state road transport corporations in India. It is known for the well-maintained buses and the good service it provides to its customers.
KSRTC became the first to introduce Volvo buses in the country, and these buses served very well under the Airavat brand. However, over time, these diesel-powered Volvo B7R and B9R buses have aged and are now becoming expensive to run on short and medium distance routes.
Instead of replacing the aging Volvos with other diesel buses, the KSRTC has decided to introduce electric buses. The decision towards electric buses has been taken keeping in mind the environment and green mobility. KSRTC will be introducing electric buses manufactured by Olectra.
The Olectra BYD K9 electric buses will be introduced on four routes in Karnataka. Bangalore-Mysore, Bangalore-Davanagere, Bangalore-Tumkur and Bangalore-Shivamogga are the four routes it will be introduced on.
The Olectra BYD K9 has a range of upto 250 kilometres on one full charge. However, the routes decided upon are between 68 kilometres and 300 kilometres-long. How the electric buses will manage the Bangalore-Shivamogga route's distance is something we are unsure of at the moment.
A Bangalore Mirror report quoted a senior KSRTC official as saying, "The buses will run only after being 100% charged. Each electric bus can run up to 250 km with a full charge. There will be one charging station each on the starting point in Bengaluru and on the destination bus stop. Additionally there will be one charging station each on all these four routes to charge the buses."
It seems like the Bangalore-Shivamogga and Bangalore-Davanagere routes will have to take a break in between. The fare for the bus journey is expected to be just the same as on the Volvo buses currently plying the route. In Bangalore, the Shanthinagar bus terminal will house the charging stations.
It takes between 2-3 hours to fully charge an Olectra BYD K9 electric bus. Karnataka will procure a total of 400 electric buses. 300 of these buses will be used by the BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) on intra-city routes.
50 buses will be allotted to KSRTC, and 50 to NWKRTC (North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation). The buses will be procured under the FAME II scheme of the central government.
Thoughts On Karnataka Introducing Electric Buses On Four Intercity Routes
Electric vehicles are the future and all of us are well aware about it. At the moment though, electric vehicles are not very practical. For example, the electric buses that will be introduced by KSRTC will take nearly 3 hours to recharge. A diesel-powered Volvo would have covered half the distance back from Shivamogga to Bangalore in this time span.
However, electric vehicle development is on and battery technology will only improve. Hence we can expect the best to come out of the EV space in the days to come. Till then, the KSRTC will do its best to reduce the carbon footprint created by its diesel-powered buses.