India’s largest electric bus tender case study released by Minister of State of Power at India Energy Week 2023

The case study “’The Grand Challenge’ for Electric Bus Deployment: Outcomes and Lessons for the Future” were released today at the India Energy Week 2023 here. It was released in the august presence of Hon’ble Minister of State for Power and Heavy Industries Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar, Shri Ajay Tiwari, Addl. Secretary, Ministry of Power, Shri K Sreekant, Chairman, EESL and Shri Vishal Kapoor, MD & CEO, Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL)

This case study highlights the key learnings from the largest and most comprehensive electric bus programme ever, and was jointly carried out by CESL, WRI India, the World Bank, and others.

The tender was launched under the Government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, to roll out 100% electric buses and was envisioned to reduce operating costs for cities. By evolving into a platform for city bus modernization, the Grand Challenge also removed bottlenecks in procuring e-buses by State Transport Undertakings (STUs), instituting best in class practices and operating standards, and enabling operational and passenger efficiencies.

Following the unprecedented success of the Grand Challenge, which resulted in the lowest-ever prices for electric buses (31% less than diesel and 18% less than CNG without subsidy for per km cost), CESL partnered with think tanks to prepare a roadmap for launching the National Electric Bus Program – a nationwide rollout program to deploy 50,000 electric buses. The NEBP aims to bring a massive turnaround in public fleet management of STUs. 

India’s EV scenario is rapidly evolving and government playing a key role in promoting its adoption, the Grand Challenge tender emerged as a potentially disruptive exercise at scale, addressing concerns of air pollution, climate change and most importantly, escalating fuel bills.

Speaking at the release of the Grand Challenge case study, Vishal Kapoor, MD & CEO, CESL said, “This Grand Challenge Tender is the culmination of the efforts of many agencies, including STUs, OEMs, financiers, NITI Aayog, Ministries & transport departments. This is one of the world’s largest ebus scheme, built on an innovative asset-light model that enables STUs to deploy at scale and at a low cost. This historic program will contribute to our Hon. Prime Minister’s goal of making India a global leader in the fight against climate change and will encourage a quicker shift to green mobility throughout the nation.

India E-Mobility Show