Govt closer to release electric buses on roads

দিন বদল বাংলাদেশ ডেস্ক || দিন বদল বাংলাদেশ

প্রকাশিতঃ সকাল ১০:৩০, শুক্রবার, ১৯ জানুয়ারি, ২০২৪, ৫ মাঘ ১৪৩০
ফাইল ফটো

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BRTC sources said the places of charging stations have been designed after a feasibility test. A total of 20 buses will be kept for charging at each of the charging stations.

Bangladesh is now much closer to entering into the era of switching to electric vehicles, as the government is all set to buy 200 electric buses that will arrive in the country soon.

Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) sources familiar with the matter said, the government will purchase 100 double-decker electric AC buses soon from India under a “Line of Credit” agreement with the neighbouring country.

At the same time, with the credit support of Korea Eximbank, the government will also buy another 100 electric buses from South Korea, they added.

Talking to the BRTC Chairman Md Tazul Islam said, “The process of bringing electric buses is underway… they will be added soon to the BRTC’s transport fleet.”

“We are completing the necessary preparations. Initially, electric buses will ply the roads of the cities of Dhaka and Chattogram,” he added.

The state-run transport corporation also has designed a draft plan for setting up seven charging stations in and outside Dhaka for these electric vehicles.

BRTC sources said the places of charging stations have been designed after a feasibility test. A total of 20 buses will be kept for charging at each of the charging stations.

As per the draft plan, charging stations will be established in Mirpur, Motijheel, Gazipur, Gabtoli, Narayanganj, Narsingdi, and Chattogram.

If a charging station is not set up at Gabtoli, it will be established at Uthli.

If the charging stations are established on roadside places, it will require a huge space that could not be available. That’s why the charging stations will be built inside the BRTC bus depots of the respective areas.

Upon the arrival of 100 electric buses from India, the BRTC is planning to run 80 buses in the capital city of Dhaka, while the rest will be released on the roads of Chattogram.

On 13 April last year, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader told reporters that 100 electric AC buses would be launched in Dhaka City by November same year.

However, the month of November passed but the buses could not arrive because Indian loans have not yet been cleared.

The process of bringing electric buses started back in 2019, and a relevant policy was formulated the following year.

Later, in February last year, another policy styled “Electric Vehicle Registration and Operation Policy 2023” was approved.

Transport expert Professor Md Hadiuzzaman told the Daily Sun, “By 2030, most companies will not manufacture diesel-powered buses. As a result, we must plan to enter the electric vehicles era.”

“But electric vehicles should not be released on roads without a detailed plan. Besides the charging stations, electric buses will require separate workshops, technical personnel, and equipment. The government must focus on these issues,” this Buet professor added.

Mentioning some challenges in operating electric buses, he further said, “The battery for electric vehicles is a very important component. If we want to move to electric buses on a large scale, we need to work out how these batteries could be disposed of and recycled. The government should make a policy in this regard”

Hadiuzzaman also said, “Mixed types of vehicles ply on Bangladesh roads. But electric vehicles run silently and do not make any noise. They will require separate lanes. As a result, the design of the country’s roads should be changed before the release of electric buses.”