Navi Mumbai to get hybrid AC buses soon
Navi Mumbai commuters will soon get to ride in swanky air-conditioned hybrid buses. The Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT) is planning to purchase five hybrid-electric buses under the central government’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme within the next two months.
The hybrid- electric buses (seen in pictures) have a higher mileage than Volvo buses
The transport body will purchase these buses and operate them on a trial basis to test their efficiency. The buses will be imported from a Finland-based coach manufacturer HMTD Pvt ltd. It will run on an electric generator that will be powered by diesel.
Ganesh Mhatre, chairman of NMMT, said, “The transport body wants to experiment with eco-friendly buses. So we are planning to introduce these buses on city roads to test their efficiency. NMMT already has a fleet of 50 Volvo buses. However, compared to them these hybrid-electric buses are more fuel efficient and have zero emission levels.”
Earlier, the transport body was planning to purchase hybrid buses from Tata motors. However, due to high maintenance cost compared to the HMTD coaches, NMMT now prefers imported ones. According to Mhatre, the five-year maintenance cost of HMTD coaches comes up to Rs 16 lakh, whereas, the cost for maintaining the coaches from Tata motors amounts up to Rs 49 crore for the same duration. The hybrid-electric bus gives a mileage of five km per litre compared to Volvo’s record of two km per litre, Mhatre added.
However, each hybrid-electric bus from HMTD costs Rs 2 crore 41 lakhs, while the Tata motorbus costs Rs 1 crore 67 lakh each. At present, NMMT has a fleet of 370 buses, of which 145 run on compressed natural gas (CNG) and 30 are air-conditioned Volvo buses. Recently, NMMT acquired a new fleet of 40 Volvo buses and 155 new buses will also join the transport body’s fleet within a year.