India approves 10,000 electric buses for sustainable urban transport
The Union Cabinet has given the green light to the PM-eBus Sewa initiative, a substantial step towards bolstering sustainable urban transport and economic growth. This program involves the deployment of 10,000 electric buses (e-buses) across India, with a budget of ₹576.13 billion ($6.9 billion). Targeting cities with a population of 300,000 and above according to the 2011 census, along with union territory capitals, the northeastern region, and hilly states, the PM-eBus Sewa program aims to provide e-bus services to locations currently lacking such infrastructure. This expansion into underserved areas intends to bridge the urban-rural mobility gap, improve connectivity, and enhance accessibility for all residents.Anticipated to generate between 45,000 to 55,000 direct jobs in city bus operations, the initiative comprises two key segments:Segment A: Augmenting City Bus Services**This aspect focuses on bolstering city bus services across 169 cities through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. It encompasses not only introducing e-buses but also developing essential operational infrastructure, including depot upgrades and behind-the-meter power facilities for charging e-buses.Segment B: Green Urban Mobility Initiatives (GUMI), Segment B embraces various sustainable measures to enhance urban mobility:Bus Priority Infrastructure: Creation of bus priority lanes to reduce congestion and enhance transportation efficiency.Multimodal Interchange Facilities: Seamless connectivity among different modes of transit to promote public transport usage and minimize private vehicle dependency.Automated Fare Collection Systems: Implementation of National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) systems for automated fare collection, streamlining commuter payments.Charging Infrastructure: Support for charging infrastructure development, a pivotal element in advancing electric mobility.This program aligns with intending to accelerate e-mobility adoption and promote cleaner urban transportation. The initiative anticipates reduced noise and air pollution, as well as decreased carbon emissions. Further cost reduction is projected through an efficient EV supply chain and aggregated procurement, boosting e-bus adoption.The second phase of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) program, equipped with a ₹55 billion ($665.42 million) subsidy fund, also contributes to the electric mobility drive. The ongoing FAME II program, valid until 2024, extends subsidies to various electric vehicle types.Convergence Energy Service Limited's recent bidding process highlighted e-buses as a financially viable solution for urban public transport, even without subsidies.