West Bengal Transport Corporation has awarded work order to Tata Motors Ltd for deployment of 1,180 electric buses under the ‘Grand Challenge’ initiative of Convergence Energy Services Ltd.

Tata Motors will design, manufacture and supply electric buses to WBTC besides developing requisite charging infrastructure. It will complete the delivery of all 1,180 e-buses by the end of 2023. The project entails procurement of four categories of e-buses, including 12-meter low-floor AC, standard floor non-AC, 9-m standard-floor AC and standard floor non-AC buses.

CESL is the government designated nodal agency for procurement and deployment of electric vehicles, including e-buses, across all government and state-run units through a homogenised process to ensure uniformity of vehicle standards and operational compatibility across States.

According to Mahua Acharya, MD & CEO, CESL, under the Grand Challenge initiative, tender has been done for aggregation of 5,450 electric buses in five metros including Bengaluru, Delhi, Surat, Hyderabad and Kolkata.

Tata Motors will be responsible for deploying, operating and maintaining 1,500 e-buses in Delhi, 1,180 in Kolkata and 921 e-buses in Bengaluru.

The first fleet of around 350-400 e-buses would be on road by end of this year, Firhad Hakim, West Bengal’s Transport Minister said here on Wednesday.

 “Our aim is to make Kolkata one of the smartest cities in the world and public transport is a key focus area of such upgradation. Today marks a very significant day as we move a step closer towards carbon-free and new age mobility. With support from CESL and Tata Motors, we are looking forward to electrification of buses and overall transport ecosystem in West Bengal region,” he said.