In a major leap towards greener and cleaner public transport, Ahmedabad will soon have 500 electric buses (E-Buses) plying on its roads, the Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced on Thursday here.

"For a sustainable future and responding to the electric mobility mission launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gujarat will take a lead in green mobility in the country and rapidly implement the use of electric vehicles (EVs) in public transport," Rupani said. The buses are operating under Ahmedabad Janmarg Ltd (AJL) - city's Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS).

On his two-day visit to Gujarat, the Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday flagged-off eight electric buses and inaugurated country's first automated battery swap station for public transport e-buses run by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation.

Rupani said, "We will work towards reducing emissions on roads and encourage use of green fuels such as CNG and PNG. The state government will also work towards increasing the use of EVs by the people. In coming days, Ahmedabad city will get 500 E-buses in public transport service."

In the first phase, 18 e-buses will have swappable battery technology, while other 32 e-buses having fast charging facility will become operational soon.

The automatic battery swapping technology takes about 3-4 minutes to swap a battery and a bus can run for upto 40 kms after each swap. For the purpose India's first battery swapping station for public buses has been installed at Ranip in Ahmedabad.

The fast charge technology allows each bus to travel upto 200 kms after each charge. Each AC bus with 50 seating capacity is equipped with fire detection and suppression system, which gets activated automatically in any fire eventuality.

On his visit to Ahmedabad earlier this year, Karthick Athmanathan, Head of EVs and eMoblity for Ashok Leyland, who has contracted with Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation to supply these E-Buses, had stated that globally, Ahmedabad becomes first city to offer multiple energy management EVs overtaking Europe's Gutenberg, where the Volvo buses are successfully running. "In India, Ahmedabad will be the first city to have EV buses on a BRTS route," he had said.

Rupani also stated that these E-Buses also support Make in India policy as they are indigenously designed and made by Indian company.