Tata Motors has delivered as many as 26 all-electric buses to Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST). The latest delivery marks the commencement of the first-ever Gross Cost Contract (GCC) electric bus service to BEST and these are delivered as a part of the larger order of 340 electric buses from BEST under the government of India’s FAME II initiative. The rest of the units will be delivered in a phased manner as per schedule. The 25-seater Tata Ultra Urban 9/9 electric AC buses were flagged off by Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray in the presence of dignitaries from Tata Motors and Maharashtra state government and BEST at an event at Nariman Point, Mumbai. Tata Motors said that it will be undertaking to build, deploy, maintain and operate the complete charging infrastructure along with the buses across four Mumbai depots of – Backbay, Worli, Malvani and Shivaji Nagar.
Under the unique ‘One Tata’ initiative, the brand is leveraging the core competences of various group companies. Tata Power will contribute by taking complete charge of upstream and downstream electrical facilities that includes supplies and shall also be responsible for the complete bus charging facility. Moreover, Tata Auto Components will be undertaking collaborations, design, development, sourcing and supply of select components to Tata Motors under the said initiative. Tata Motors claims that the aforementioned electric buses have been indigenously developed using the latest manufacturing technology in order to offer the best comfort for the passengers and low cost of operations for BEST.
The 25-seater Tata Ultra Urban AC electric buses get features like ‘Lift Mechanism’ that extends an automated ramp for easy ingress and egress of specially-abled passengers. Moreover, the buses get ergonomic seats, roomy interiors, utility provisions like charging ports, WiFi hotspot for on-the-go connectivity and also, wide entry and exit passages. In addition, the Tata Ultra Urban electric buses are equipped with Intelligent Transport System (ITS) along with telematics system and regenerative braking system for a better range. Tata Motors, under the FAME I initiative, has already supplied 215 electric buses in 5 cities across India.
The electric buses have cumulatively have clocked over 4 million kilometres. In addition to the tenders under FAME I, Tata Motors says that it has received orders from several state transport units in FAME phase II: 60 buses from AJL, 100 buses from Jaipur City Transport Services Limited and 300 buses by BEST in Mumbai. Apart from these, Tata Motors also delivered 25 hybrid buses to MMRDA – India’s first specially-abled-friendly buses.