Convergence Energy Services Ltd (CESL) is planning to launch electric busses (e-busses) in nine major metro cities to encourage green mobility in the country, a top executive was quoted in a report in Mint. The chosen cities are Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahemedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Surat and Pune. The busses would be offered on an operating expenses model.
CESL Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing director Mahua Acharya said that nine cities with a population of more than four million have been shortlisted for rolling out the country’s first e-busses.
Under the modified Rs 10,00o crore Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme, over 7,400 e-busses would be offered. The government has allotted the demand aggregation of electric three-wheeler and electric bus components to CESL’s parent firm Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) and has extended the marquee scheme by two years till 31 March 2024.
Acharya told the publication that they are in talks with state road transport undertakings (SRTUs), city commissioners, state transportation secretaries and state ministers to assess their interest and how they would address the challenge, once EESL was nominated as the demand aggregator.
FAME is designed to support the electrification of public and shared transport and help create charging infrastructure. The scheme is an important part of the government’s strategy to reduce vehicular emissions and dependence on fossil fuel. About Rs 18,100 crore Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme to make lithium-ion cells to promote e-mobility and domestic manufacturing has been announced by the government.
In the previous version of the scheme the high costs of e-bus, costing as much as two and a half times of busses having an internal combustion engine and payment default risk by State Road Transport Undertaking (SRTU) were some of the issues impacting the e-bus component. Also, the earlier scheme failed to take off as only 5% or Rs 492 crores out of the allocated Rs 10,000 crores were spent till March until its second phase. An earlier report from Mint added.
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