Giving a big thrust to the adoption of electric buses for public transport in the country, Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL) has announced the floating of the ‘Grand Challenge’ – a set of homogenized demand for electric buses aggregated across nine cities.
The Grand Challenge invites State Transport Undertakings (STUs) to express their demand for electric buses and access the FAME II subsidy, for which a total of 3472 buses of subsidy equivalent is available.
CESL will then aggregate this demand and based on a rating system, STUs will be allocated their total number of buses. The aggregated demand will be tendered out for the participation of OEMs and/or operators for the discovery of prices on the basis of rupees per kilometer.
The cities to be covered under this “Grand Challenge” are Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Surat, and Pune.
Through the Grand Challenge, CESL intends to enhance its support to state governments in achieving their electric mobility targets and further build an infrastructure for electric mobility in the country.
This tender is seen as a big step in the series of initiatives to fulfill the commitments made by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi for making India a Net Zero nation by 2050 and getting closer to achieving Energy Independence by 2047.
Mahua Acharya, MD & CEO, CESL sharing her views on the Grand Challenge, said the Grand Challenge is the beginnings of aggregating demand for electric buses. It is based on an innovative, asset-light model that incentivizes the electrification of public transit. We hope that STUs will see the benefits of this exercise and come forward with their demand for buses.
She further added, “By reducing carbon emissions, I am confident that this mandate will help India in successfully meeting the net-zero target as defined by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. The Grand Challenge will certainly encourage the faster transition to green mobility across the country while creating a synergy between private operators and state governments. We are already running successful 2-wheeler and 3-wheeler EV initiatives in states like Kerala and Andhra Pradesh and are optimistic that this new development will further our goal to attain transformation to EVs from fossil fuels in the coming years throughout the country”.
Mahua Acharya further acknowledged USAID’s SPARC programme for their continuous support to CESL’s E-mobility initiative.
Ashish Kundra, Principal Secretary-cum-Commissioner, Transport, Government of Delhi; Rajendar Kumar Kataria, Secretary, Transport Department, Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation; Laxminarayan Mishra, CMD, Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited; Rajanvir Singh Kapur, Managing Director, West Bengal Transport Corporation and Dr Rajesh Pandya; Deputy Municipal Commissioner, Surat Municipal Corporation participated in the event and shared their views.