West Bengal to switch to lease model for procuring e-buses

West Bengal government has decided to switch to “lease model” for procuring new e-buses to overcome high initial capital expenditure, a senior official of the state Transport department said.

Under leasing or an opex model the bus would be operated by the state Transport department and ticketing responsibility will stay with them and would pay the rental based on per kilometre basis through a competitive tendering basis, the official said.

“We will now procure 50 new electric buses on dry lease. This is an opex model compared to previous acquisitions on a capex model,” Transport Secretary N S Nigam told .

He said leasing will be based on per kilometre basis and responsibility of ticketing will lie with the department.

Electricity cost will be borne by the state government and for that government was planning more charging stations.

The state government will also bring tariff reforms for the charging stations as electricity tariff for charging electric vehicles may be different. Currently, utilities have different tariffs for household, commercial and industrial uses.

The state transport department has 80 electric buses which are plying on the city roads of Kolkata and New Town.

The Niti Aayog had issued a model concession agreement for public private partnership (PPP) aimed at the operation and maintenance of electric buses in cities across the country.

The model concession agreement will help to push zero emission vehicles and achieve significant electrification of vehicles by 2030.

Under this model, the holder of concession will be required to incur the necessary capital expenditure (CAPEX) for the procurement of electric buses, and operation and maintenance infrastructure and the authority will incur operational expenditure on per kilometre basis.

Source: PTI