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Posted at: Nov 24, 2017, 12:17 AM; last updated: Nov 24, 2017, 12:17 AM (IST)

Chinese electric buses dent Modi’s Make-in-India drive

Chinese electric buses dent Modi’s Make-in-India drive

Kuldeep Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 23

“Made in China and assembled in Hyderabad”, the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) has been running two electric buses from Manali to Rohtang Pass since September. The electric buses have become a hit but it has dented the Prime Minister’s ‘Make in India’ campaign.

The HRTC has signed an agreement with Goldstone Infratech, a Hyderabad company, this year for the supply of electric buses. “The company is only assembling the buses in Hyderabad. These are made by Chinese company BYD Auto Industry, its largest manufacturer in the world, with which Goldstone has a tie-up,” revealed sources.

As clamour for electric buses is gaining ground, the Chinese company is eyeing the growing Indian markets and the government wants these to curb vehicular pollution, said transport managers.

The electric bus market is huge as a 25-seater bus costs Rs 1.91 crore. “Our saving grace is that the HRTC is paying 25 per cent of the cost while 75 per cent comes from the Centre,” said an HRTC manager.

Facing the wrath of the green court on the rising pollution level, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Rajkot want the electric buses.

An electric bus uses re-chargeable lithium iron phosphate battery which are recharged at the company-run recharging station at Manali. According to the sources, the electric buses have been certified by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI).

Managing director, HRTC, Ashok Tiwari said the HRTC was running the two buses between Manali and Rohtang. “The HRTC will get 23 more buses and will weigh option whether we can run these in Shimla and Dharamsala. But NGT insists that the HRTC should run these in Manali only,” he added.

The bus costs Rs 1.91 cr

  • The HRTC has signed an agreement with Goldstone Infratech, a Hyderabad company, for the supply of electric buses
  • The company is only assembling the buses in Hyderabad
  • These are made by Chinese company BYD Auto Industry
  • As clamour for electric buses is gaining ground, the Chinese company is eying the growing Indian markets
  • The electric bus market is huge as a 25-seater bus costs Rs 1.91 crore

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