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Modi witnesses demo of first prototype of retrofitted electric bus
New Delhi, December 21, 2015
Modi flags off battery-powered bus for MPs
Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnessed the demonstration of the first prototype of a diesel bus converted into a battery-operated electric vehicle at a function in Parliament House complex here today.
Speaking on the occasion, he said that pollution had become a matter of grave concern in people's everyday lives and finding a solution to the problem was a major challenge.
Referring to the recently concluded 21st Conference of Parties (COP 21) on Climate Change and Environment in Paris, Mr. Modi lauded two of its major initiatives aimed at promoting green energy – one on innovation and the other on the Global Solar Alliance of 120 countries.
He said the cost-effective, environmentally clean electric buses were a significant step in the direction of combating pollution.
Mr. Modi called the retrofitted electric buses a new gift from the government's “Make in India” campaign and called upon the youth to come forward to make cost-effective, long-lasting batteries to promote the making of more such electric buses which can be incorporated in the public transport system.
The Prime Minister presented the keys of the first retrofitted bus to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. The bus is proposed to be used by Members of Parliament.
Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari said that the retrofitted electric buses demonstrted the Government's commitment towards Make in India and its resolve to fight pollution.
He said the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was making lithium-ion batteries which will cost only Rs 5 lakh as against the Rs 50 lakh cost of imported batteries. He called upon Parliamentarians to make maximum use of the retrofitted buses and make them popular.
The converted buses will cost about one-fourth of the cost of a new electric bus.
The converted buses are part of a pilot project of the Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT). The project will demonstrate the Government’s commitment to reduce vehicular pollution while opting for strong environment friendly mobility solutions. The prototype has been developed by by KPIT, Pune in consultation with CIRT. The technology has been wholly developed in India. Ten more buses are proposed to be retrofitted for use by State Transport Undertakings by March 2016. Large scale conversions of diesel buses to electric will be taken up after evaluating the success of the pilot project, an official press release added.