The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply & Transport Undertaking (BEST) has floated tenders for the procurement of 1,900 fully electric buses. It also plans to launch tenders for 200 double decker electric buses in the near future. As per the tender documents, the maximum period for acquiring the 1,900 buses is one and a half years, with 25 per cent of new electric bus procurement (475 buses) for Mumbai taking place in the first six months, 25 per cent in the next six months, and 50 per cent in the following six months. According to the state government’s Electric Vehicle Policy, by 2025, 15 percent of the public transportation fleet should be electric. The BEST, currently, has charging stations at four bus depots, but this service will be expanded to all 27 depots in the near future. The Maharashtra government is also planning to expand its EV fleet for public transport to other parts of the state soon.
Earlier this month, the revised Maharashtra electric vehicle policy (EV) 2021 came into force to further facilitate EV sales and manufacturing. The primary objective of EV Policy is to accelerate the adoption of BEVs in the state so that they contribute to 10 per cent of new vehicle registrations by 2025. Moreover, the policy also includes achieving 25 per cent electrification of public transport and last-mile delivery vehicles by 2025, converting 15 per cent of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation’s (MSRTC) existing bus fleet to electric, promoting the establishment of at least one Gigafactory for the manufacturing of advanced chemistry cell (ACC) batteries in the state, and promote research and development (R&D), innovation, and skill development across the EV ecosystem in the state.