Government sanctions 5,645 e-buses for 65 cities and 8 STUs

by Nilesh Wadhwa 29 Jul 2019

If things go as planned, commuters in India may soon witness electric mobility becoming a norm, be it private vehicles or public transport. Giving an impetus to EV usage, central and state government's alike have been working on rolling out a slew of policies and schemes to promote the green vehicles.

In an informal announcement, Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, the government's premiere think-tank policy body, today said that the inter-ministerial committee for EVs has sanctioned 5,645 electric buses. The electric buses will begin intra-city operations in 65 cities to 8 state transport undertakings. Kant said this move will give huge impetus to automobile sector, clean up cities and also drive Make-in-India.

The government also announced has exempted GST on hiring of electric buses (of carrying capacity of more than 12 passengers) by local authorities, which was announced at the 36th GST Council meeting, chaired by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman with a single agenda, to discuss cutting down GST on EVs. 

On July 19, Autocar Professional had reported that the government was also exploring banning registration of IC-engine buses in the country for intra-city transport starting 2026, till then a 30 percent share was expected.

Interestingly, the FAME II scheme which was introduced earlier this year, is said to incentivise 7,000 buses for public transport use. Industry experts, believe that while the expected order look promising, OEMs will need to develop a robust supplier as well as manufacturing base in the country for delivering the order. In fact, the number of e-buses plying in the country and delivered by OEMs is said to be in the tune of around 55 units.

Also read: Prawaas 2019 makes a strong pitch for e-mobility