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In a first, India rolls out electric bus to curb air pollution

In a bid to combat air pollution, India rolled out its first electric bus (e-bus) in the capital New Delhi. The Delhi government plans to induct around 300 e-buses by April 2022. Additionally, 2000 such buses will be rolled out within the next few years. 

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Earlier today, India rolled out its first electric bus (e-bus) in the capital New Delhi. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was present at the occasion. Kejriwal said the induction of the first electric bus of Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) is an “important milestone” in Delhi’s transport landscape.

“Today, Delhi got its first electric bus and this is an important milestone in various aspects. First, this is the beginning of a new era in the transport sector in Delhi. In the coming years, these electric buses will replace the old fleet of buses in Delhi,” said Kejriwal.

The Delhi government plans to induct around 300 e-buses by April 2022. Additionally, 2000 such buses will be rolled out within the next few years.

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“This is an important step in controlling the pollution in Delhi. It’s a noise less, zero-emission vehicle,” Kejriwal added.

According to Indian media reports, besides being disabled-friendly, these new low-floor electric AC buses, are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities like a real-time passenger information system, CCTVs, panic buttons, and GPS, among others.

The e-bus can easily cover a minimum distance of 1200km in a single charge. It takes around 1-1.5 hours for the bus to fully charge. Therefore, authorities will arrange charging points throughout the route.

India combats air pollution

According to reports, the air quality in Delhi is worse than any other major city in the world. Delhi’s air quality continued to remain in ‘very poor’ category, with the city recording an overall Air Quality Index (AQI) at 339, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).

India’s Ministry of Earth Sciences published a research paper in October 2018 attributing almost 41% of air pollution to vehicular emissions, 21.5% to dust, and 18% to industries.

As a result, India’s toxic air kills more than one million people each year. Various reports suggest that air pollution worsens during the winter months as farmers in the neighboring states burn crop stubble.

Therefore, in a bid to combat air pollution, the Delhi government announced a plan to induct e-buses in 2018. At the flagship ceremony of the first e-bus, the Delhi Chief Minister said that from now on India will only procure electric buses.

Read more: Air pollution kill more people than you can ever guess!