New Delhi: National E-bus Programme: Showcasing India’s ambitious e-bus program, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) and Association of State Road Transport Undertakings (ASRTU) together with Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL), Ministry of Power (MoP) and the World Resources Institute – India (WRI India) hosted a high-level session- Greening India’s Public Mobility: India’s National Electric Bus Program at the ongoing Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP27) today.
Organized at the India Pavilion, the panel discussion saw participation of the Transport Secretaries of Haryana and Kerala and the Principal Secretary of Government of NCT Delhi besides key industry experts to deliberate on the current scenario of Indian states in their switch to e-mobility, solutions for solving financing needs for this transition and how this could expedite India’s commitments for reduction in carbon emissions and reach towards net zero goal.
Sh. Mahmood Ahmed, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India highlighted that the sales of EVs are seeing a surge in India, while the prices of batteries are seeing a decline, which is a positive sign.
Elaborating the role of Convergence Energy Services Ltd (CESL) in India’s e-bus program, Ms. Mahua Acharya MD & CEO, CESL said,” I have no doubt that India is in the lead in this massive endeavor and I remain incredibly grateful to the many state Governments and Central Ministries who have been collaborating with us on this journey. I look forward now to international collaboration.”
During his keynote address, Shri Alok Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Power, Government of India said, “One of the key components of achieving energy security would be to switch to e-mobility as this would save valuable resources that go in buying crude oil. An added advantage is the reduction in air pollution, in which India has already made impressive improvements. The Ministry of Power will offer full support in India’s ambitious e-bus program which will see the deployment of 50,000 e-buses. We also plan to offer full subsidy for costs incurred to set up charging infrastructure in bus depots.”
Shri Ashish Kundra, Principal Secretary, Government of NCT Delhi said, “Delhi is glad to be part of India’s story at COP27 around bus electrification program. This is set to be a game changer for achieving carbon emission goals. Delhi has aligned its goals in transport sector to move towards carbon neutrality as part of India’s commitments at international platforms.”
Speaking at the panel, Shri Biju Prabhakar, Secretary Transport, Government of Kerala said, “Switching to e-buses are the best option for public mobility considering the lower life-cycle costs, as compared to diesel buses and their potential to lower pollution levels. Technological advancements in the sector have also made their operations financially viable. However, adequate charging infrastructure must be readied to ensure optimal fleet utility and private partnerships could help in that regard. In Kerala, there are over 16,000 E-vehicles registered and we target to have about 1 million EVs by 2025, and we already have an EV policy in place. The major challenge for EV adoption is charging stations and battery swapping stations and we are looking for partners to scale up our EV charging and battery swapping infrastructure”
Shri Navdeep Singh Virk, Principal Secretary Transport, Government of Haryana, highlighted how electrification of public transport especially in the bus sector is important to India’s decarbonization strategy. He said, “The State of Haryana has already initiated the process and have already placed its demand of 550 EV buses in the first phase for which tender by CESL is currently live, under the National E Bus Programme. We would be starting a City Bus Service in 11 cities in Haryana with these EV buses. Moving to e-mobility will have other benefits apart from saving the environment like reduced cost of operations. CESL has been on the forefront in helping states replace their bus fleets with e-buses; and we look forward to working with them, to help Haryana in this transition.”
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 is also working towards enabling battery-powered electric mobility and its infrastructure and design business models to increase the uptake of electric vehicles in India.