MUMBAI : In a major step towards combating pollution and ensuring a smooth ride for commuters, a fleet of 25 swank Hybrid Electric Bus was launched here on Friday.
Union Minister for Heavy Industries Anant G. Geete and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis launched the buses, which have been granted under the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan-2020.
"These buses will ply between Borivali, Thane, Mulund, Kharghar, Sion stations to and from Bandra Kurla Complex to reduce pressure on other forms of public transport with ease and comfort. Commuters can even work while travelling as these buses have Wi-Fi, LED display, charging points, etc," said Fadnavis.
Besides, he said the greatest advantage of the Hybrid Electric Buses would be a massive "40 percent reduction in pollution", with the first of these buses plying at the BKC, with the rest covering Mumbai and adjoining Thane and Navi Mumbai.
Fadnavis said that while the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is building huge infrastructure, there is a need to improve public transport and the government is working in that direction.
"As part of our continuous efforts to run all the buses on the electric mobility mode, we have finalized a charging policy to make that possible. We shall also assist the BEST (Mumbai's public bus service) to bring more such eco-friendly buses on Mumbai roads," he assured.
Indigenously manufactured by Tata Motors, the 'Tata Starbus Hybrid Electric Bus' (TSHEC) encompasses a global design standard, stylish looks with a full low floor configuration.
Running on dual power - diesel and electric, it is economically viable, safe and eco-friendly, loaded with top comfort and safety features for the passengers.
"It is the future of rapid urban mass transportation system. The TSHEB is the country's First Series Hybrid Electric Architecture Bus, and are UBS-II, AIS 052 and CMVR compliant," said Tata Motors' President, Commercial Vehicles Business, Girish Wagh.
Terming it as a testimony to the company's technology prowess and deep understanding of customer requirements, he said they are committed to developing low-emission buses that make substantial contribution towards sustainable urban transport.
Tata Motors' Head of Engineering, Electric and Defence, A.K. Jindal said the company is India's largest bus manufacturer with a complete range of transit vehicles catering to all needs of day-to-day travel.
These include microbus, intercity and touring coaches, luxurious intercity travel options, safe transport choices for school-going children, he said.