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Accelerating deployment of e-buses in India to achieve rapid decarbonization
New Delhi, 7 December 2021: NITI Aayog launched the e-Sawaari India Electric Bus Coalition, in partnership with Convergence Energy Service Limited (CESL) and World Resources Institute, India (WRI India), and supported by Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI) yesterday.
Through the e-Sawaari India Electric Bus Coalition, the central-, state-, and city-level government agencies, transit service providers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), financing institutions, and ancillary service providers will be able to share knowledge and their learnings on e-bus adoption in India.
The launch was attended by Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NTI Aayog, MDs of State Transport Undertakings (STUs), Mr. Ashish Kundra IAS, Commissioner of Transport, Delhi, Dr. OP Agarwal, CEO, WRI India and Ms. Mahua Acharya, CEO, Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL) among others.
Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, said, “Electrification of public transport especially in the bus sector is key to India’s decarbonization strategy. The e-Sawaari India Electric Bus Coalition is a step toward ensuring steady and paced electrification of the bus transport system in India. Identifying innovative means to address the challenges of procurement, operations and financing e-bus deployment at scale is crucial to achieve net zero emissions.”
Speaking at the launch, Ms. Mahua Acharya, CEO, Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL), said, “It is imperative for multiple players to come into the electric bus eco system – be it financiers, banking partners, IT service providers or utility firms in addition to state transport undertaking and original equipment manufacturers. An enabling ecosystem to access funding and financing of electric buses is the need of the hour for scaled up adoption of electric buses.”
Dr. OP Agarwal, CEO, WRI India, said, “Need of the hour is to find high-impact solutions to address urban pollution, nudging a positive climate action, and enhancing urban living. To scale up e-bus adoption, we need to address its challenges - procurement, operational and financial. As a coalition, e-Sawaari will be able to facilitate discussions and identify innovative solutions to scale up e-bus adoption.
Mr. Rohan Shailesh Modi, Asia Co-ordinator -TUMI E-Bus Mission said, “The e-Saawari India electric bus coalition aims to give a fresh impetus to India's e-bus sector by bringing cities, private sector and financiers work jointly to address the sectoral challenges. TUMI E-Bus mission is happy to support this unique initiative co-led by NITI Aayog and CESL.”
Electric bus adoption has gained traction in India and multiple cities and their governments have embarked on the journey of electrifying their bus-based transport system. The recent impetus from the Government of India to aggregate e-bus demand from the nine largest Indian cities - under the ambit of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India (FAME) scheme, Phase – II, through the ongoing Grand Challenge for Deployment of e-Buses - has encouraged more State Government Undertakings (STUs) to change their bus fleet to electric.
Mr. Ashish Kundra, Principal Secretary, Government of Delhi, said, “The switch to electric mobility not only has economic logic but it is the solution to mitigate climate change. However, this transition requires active dialog between the industry and the government, and this coalition will help bind the two.”
Mr. Mahesh Babu, CEO, Switch Mobility at Ashok Leyland Ltd., said, “To relieve pressure on OEMs, multi-partner equity involvement is necessary, if the target of 66,000 electric buses by 2030 is to be achieved. If OEMs can integrate with STUs the drive towards the standardization of the EV ecosystem will be quicker.”
Mr. Udhay Khemka, VC, Sun Group, said “Our focus on mobility is to ensure there are large pools of capital for electrification of the bus public transport system in India. Our aim is to offer yield equity with appropriate infrastructure and capital.”
Mr. Manish Chourasia, MD, Tata Cleantech Capital Ltd., said “Tata Cleantech Capital, a joint venture between TATA Capital and International Financial Capital is emerging with financial solutions to support India’s clean energy transition. ‘As a Green Investment Bank,’ with focus on climate finance and advisory services, we believe in the scalability of e-bus operations in the country and are committed to it.”
Nitya Kaushik | WRI India
Aparna Vijaykumar | WRI India
About NITI Aayog
NITI Aayog is a public policy think tank of the Government of India, established with the aim to achieve sustainable development goals with cooperative federalism by fostering the involvement of state governments of India in the economic policy-making process using a bottom-up approach.
Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL) is a subsidiary of state-owned Energy Efficiency Services Limited, a joint venture of public sector companies under the Ministry of Power, Government of India. CESL is focused on delivering clean, affordable and reliable energy. Convergence focuses on energy solutions that lie at the confluence of renewable energy, electric mobility and climate change. CESL will also work towards enabling battery-powered electric mobility and its infrastructure and design business models to increase the uptake of electric vehicles in India. Convergence will employ business models that utilize a blend of concessional and commercial capital, carbon finance and grants as appropriate to enable commercialization of these solutions at scale.
About the TUMI E-Bus Mission
Funded by Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), a core group of organizations led by the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) and World Resources Institute, India (WRI India) are working together to accelerate the transition to e-buses in India, under the ambit of the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI) E-Bus Mission. The mission was launched under the Action towards Climate-friendly Transport (ACT)-Initiative, during the UN Climate Action Summit in September 2019. The TUMI E-Bus Mission will support 20 deep-dive cities across the globe in transitioning their fleets to e-buses, and learnings from the initiative will be shared with a further network of 100 mentee cities - to upscale an e-bus transition. There are five deep-dive cities from India -- Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Ahmedabad -- that are part of the mission. In addition, there are 20 other mentee cities.
About World Resources Institute, India (WRI India)
WRI India provides objective information and practical proposals to foster environmentally sound and socially equitable development. Our work focuses on building sustainable and liveable cities and working towards a low carbon economy. Through research, analysis, and recommendations, WRI India puts ideas into action to build transformative solutions to protect the earth, promote livelihoods, and enhance human well-being. We are inspired by and associated with World Resources Institute (WRI) a global research organization. Explore our work on our websites: wri-india.org I wricitiesindia.org