An agreement has been signed by the Goa Government with the National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd (NTPC) for assistance in procuring the 100 electric buses and setting up charging stations at all major bus stands across the state, said Transport Minister, Ramkrishna Dhavalikar.
“We will eventually try to replace diesel buses with electric ones, including those run by Kadamba Transport Corporation Limited. We will be appealing to the petroleum companies to make provision for charging stations at fuel stations. The charging stations will be available to any vehicle for use, even private electric vehicles, as slowly all vehicles will be electric ones,” said Dhavalikar.
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He said the drivers for these buses will also be initially provided through NTPC, while the conductors will be from Goa.Earlier, the KTC had also tested biogas and ethanol buses, but they were found not to be feasible in Goa as the raw material required to run them was not freely available in the state. The possibility of acquiring e-buses was then considered, but their cost is high at nearly around Rs 2.6 crore each. The KTC had then asked for assistance from the Centre to acquire the buses.
Though expensive, electric vehicles are believed to be low on maintenance besides being environment friendly.
Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari is promoting the shift to electric-vehicles, and chief minister Manohar Parrikar had also announced that the state wants to be one of the first in the country to shift to the environment-friendly electric vehicles.