CESL launches Grand Challenge for the deployment of e-buses in 9 cities in India

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 30 Sep 2021


Image for representational purpose only.

Convergence Energy Services (CESL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of state-run Energy Efficiency Services has announced a ‘Grand Challenge’, a set of homogenised demand for electric buses aggregated across nine cities in India that will provide a big thrust to the adoption of green public mobility.

The cities to be covered under the Grand Challenge are Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Surat, and Pune.

The challenge invites State Transport Undertakings (STUs) to express their demand for electric buses and access the FAME II subsidy, for which a total of 3,472 buses of subsidy equivalent is available. CESL will 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 kilometre.

Through the programme, CESL intends to enhance its support to state governments in achieving their electric mobility targets and further build an infrastructure for e-mobility in the country. The tender is seen as a big step in the series of initiatives to fulfil the commitments for making India a Net Zero nation by 2050 and getting closer to achieving Energy Independence by 2047.  

Mahua Acharya, MD and CEO, CESL said that the Grand Challenge is the beginnings of aggregating demand for electric buses. It is based on an innovative, asset-light model that incentivises the electrification of public transit. “We hope that STUs will see the benefits of this exercise and come forward with their demand for buses. By reducing carbon emissions, I am confident that this mandate will help India in successfully meeting the net-zero target as defined by the 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 two- and three-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”.

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; Rajanvir Singh Kapur, MD, West Bengal Transport Corporation and Dr Rajesh Pandya; Deputy Municipal Commissioner, Surat Municipal Corporation participated in the event and shared their views.