The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has recently added the state's first inter-city air-conditioned electric bus to its fleet. Maharashtra joins a number of Indian states to offer this service including Himachal Pradesh, Kerala among others. The new electric bus, similar to some of MSRTC's other bus services like Shivneri, Ashwamedh, and Shivshahi, will be called Shivai or Shivaee, and is a 43-seater unit. The state transport body is set to procure 150 such electric buses that will connect various cities across Maharashtra, including the widely used Mumbai-Pune and Mumbai-Nashik routes.
MSRTC's new electric bus service was inaugurated in Mumbai on Friday, September 6, by Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. The electric buses have been procured through electric mobility solution firm Mozev, which is also likely to support MSRTC with the charging infrastructure. The state transport body has said that these electric buses have been procured on wet lease, which means the buses will be owned and maintained by a third party, through Mozev, and will be just operated by MSRTC.
As for the electric bus, the only detail available at the moment is that the Shivai is powered by a Lithium-Ion battery and comes with a maximum range of 300 km on a full charge. The battery is said to take about five hours to fully charge. MSRTC will be charging a fare of ₹ 14 per km on the electric buses, the state department has confirmed.
Apart from MSRTC, the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) flagged off electric buses for the Manali-Rohtang Pass route in June this year, while Kerala too has been plying the e-buses since February this year between Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam, among other inter-city routes. Maharashtra inducted its first hybrid buses back in 2016. The buses have been sourced from Volvo, and have been plying in parts of Mumbai and Navi-Mumbai.
Image Source: Shiv Sena Twitter