NITI Aayog has on Tuesday announced the launch of 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).
According to the communication from NITI Aayog, the e-Sawaari India Electric Bus Coalition will enable the central, state, and city-level government agencies, transit service providers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), financing institutions, and ancillary service providers to share knowledge and their learnings on e-bus adoption in India.
The launch was attended by Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, MDs of State Transport Undertakings (STUs), Ashish Kundra, Commissioner of Transport, Delhi, Dr OP Agarwal, CEO, WRI India and Mahua Acharya, CEO, Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL) among others.
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.
Amitabh Kant said, “Electrification of public transport especially in the bus sector is key to India’s decarbonisation 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.”
Mahua Acharya said multiple players must 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, she added.
Dr Agarwal said the 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,' he added.
Rohan Shailesh Modi said the e-Saawari India electric bus coalition aims to give a fresh impetus to India's e-bus sector by bringing cities, the private sector and financiers to work jointly to address the sectoral challenges.
NB: Photo is representational.