After two years of trial runs on the challenging Manali-Rohtang highway, Himachal Roads Transport Corporation (HRTC). Finally launched its electric bus service on the route on a regular basis on 21 September 2017. With this, Himachal Pradesh has become the first hill state in the country to run electric buses. Electricity charging points have been installed at Manali and Marhi.
Initially, two mid-size buses with a seating capacity of 27 and 32 respectively will ply on the route, but more will be added once 50 more are added to the existing fleet of conventional buses of HRTC. The buses will ply on Manali-Kullu and Mandi routes during winters when the road to Rohtang is blocked with snow. The government has also decided to start an eight-seater electric vehicle service in Manali town.
Transportation minister G S Bali, who had come to Kullu to lay the foundation stone of a modern bus stand in the township, flagged off the electric buses to Rohtang. “We have started our drive to replace diesel buses with electric buses. HRTC has 3,200 buses and 50 electric buses would be delivered to us very shortly. Ten buses will ply on Manali-Rohtang route and other buses will run on various routes of the state.