Delhi’s first electric bus starts service! From now on, enjoy noise-free, pollution-free, futuristic bus journeys across the national capital. On Monday, Bus E-44 was made operational between IP Depot and Pragati Maidan. It will be a circular bus service from Delhi Transport Corporation’s (DTC) Indraprastha depot via several important locations in the national capital like ITO, AGCR, Tilak Marg, Barakhamba Road, Mandi House, Janpath, Connaught Place, Rajesh Pilot Marg, Prithvi Raj Road, Aurobindo Marg, Ring Road, AIIMS, South Extension, Ashram, Jangpura, Bhogal, High Court, India Gate, Pragati Maidan and the bus will terminate at IP depot, according to an IE report.
Tilak Raj (48), who made two complete trips on the route on Monday, was quoted in the report saying that the bus is completely noise-free, and is easy to drive. Driving the electric bus does not require as much effort, and one can drive the bus for many more hours without being tired. Also, the bus is emission-free, he said.
Amit Kumar, a DTC conductor who is assigned to Bus E-44, said the electric bus was much better. According to him, earlier, there used to be too much sound in the bus because of the engine at the back. Also, there was heat from the engine. There is no such issue on this bus, he said. These electric buses are the future since they will counter pollution, he added.
The E-44 bus service will be available daily from 05.30 AM to 08.20 PM. The electric bus charges from a 240 KW fast charger, and takes from 1 to 1.5 hours for a complete charge. There is only one charger at the IP depot as of now but once more buses are added to the fleet, there are plans to install more at each depot. From one charger, two buses can charge at most but the charging time doubles, resulting in a charging time of approx. two to three hours, a DTC official was quoted saying in the report.
On Monday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the government plans to acquire 300 more electric buses by April. The ultimate plan is to buy 2,000 electric buses in the coming years. The electric buses boast various modern features such as kneeling ramps for differently-abled commuters and special pink seats for women commuters. These buses are equipped with CCTVs, linked to a two-way central command and control centre at Kashmere Gate in Delhi along with as many as 10 panic buttons on each bus and a hooter. Moreover, there are ‘stop’ buttons in these buses, which alert drivers when commuters want to alight. Also, the bus has a provision whereby the kneeling ramp by 60 millimetres to open effectively for those who are physically challenged.