Reportedly for the second time, karnataka is likely to miss the deadline for availing central government subsidy to induct electric public buses under ‘Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid and) Electric vehicles (FAME)’ scheme and this time, it’s likely to happen because the state government is unhappy with the prices quoted by bidders who are willing to provide electric buses on lease.
Furthermore karnataka was one of the first states to start a pilot programme of electric public buses way back in 2014. But since then, despite many promises by the state government, there has been no progress on the ground. Further the FAME scheme is part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan under the Ministry of Heavy industries & Public Enterprises to promote the reduction of greenhouse gases and dependence on fossil fuel.
Moreover as the new deadline approaches, the government might miss the subsidy this time as well, since the state has not been able to get bidders for the cost that they’re looking to pay for these buses. Earlier in october 2019, TNM had reported that the state transport department had floated a tender to induct 300 electric buses for bengaluru, 50 for KSRTC long journeys, and another 50 for Hubli-Dharwad on a lease model. Officials in the know said that they were looking for a cost of around Rs 40 per kilometre for a single bus. Perhaps sources say the bidders have quoted a 30-40% higher price per kilometre. Accordingly an official who wishes to remain anonymous says that if the bidders do not agree for a price closer to Rs 40/km then the BMTC and KSRTC will have no option but to go for retendering. In this process, the subsidy scheme is also likely to be missed.