CESL has India's public transport on steroids

August 15, 2022
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Mahua Acharya Convergence Energy Services (CESL) MD and CEO is at the center of redefining the future of public transport in India. A state-run energy transition company was recently contracted to procure 50,000 electric buses across India worth over 10 billion dollars.

CESL had earlier awarded a contract for 5,450 electric buses this year. For its distributed solar operations, which it is now supporting internally, CESL is still searching for investors.

CESLs latest tender is aimed to support India’s mission to decarbonize public transportation and achieve net zero emissions.

Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL) is instituted under the Ministry of Power, New and Renewable energy is bringing various stakeholders together to enable a large-scale switch to electric mobility in the public domain by aggregating demand for electric buses from various state transport undertakings to meet the country’s net-zero emissions goals.

“When we were doing (the Grand Challenge) tender for electric buses, we got a demand for 5,500 buses instead of the 3,500 which was the target number given to us; that itself is evidence that there is enough demand and appetite to switch to electric buses. But there are several issues we have to work on to get to deployment—we have to work on equipping and setting up bus depots and the electrical stuff behind it, and we need to work with bus manufacturers to ensure they have visibility concerning orders coming on time." Acharya says

Acharya adds that to enhance the overall EV usage experience, address range anxiety, and hence, encourage EV adoption, the government is also planning to include crucial details about the charging stations on the app including their availability, charger types, and tariffs. The app is expected to  go live very shorty

Acharya is already in the process of collating information from the private sector. " The super app that will have information shared by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to enhance visibility and traffic at the private charging points as well"

“We need an extensive network of charging stations at strategic locations, which are safe, well-lit, well-covered, and where users stop up-up their electric vehicles within an hour,” Acharya said

To increase usage of public transport there is a need for first-mile and last-mile mobility to facilitate access to public transport. Like Delhi Metro, which is the best metro network in India covering a distance of 400 km along various routes and close to 300 stations, the average distance a person has to travel from their home or office to a metro station is over three kilometers

Yulu too is playing a key role in the first and last mile mobility can be customized for this use case, solve this problem and scale up in cities " This first-mile (home or office to metro or bus station), and last mile (metro station to the home, office), has to be done by the private sector," R.K. Mishra, co-founder, Yulu and president -

Acharya during a Bloomberg Television interview stated that “This country is moving very very rapidly on its electric vehicles ambition. So financing remains a challenge as much as it presents an opportunity.”

In other electric bus news, last month Switch Mobility Ltd., the electric bus and light commercial vehicle manufacturing subsidiary of Asho Leyland revealed that it has received over 600 orders for its newest electric buses ‘SWITCH EiV 12’.

These buses are a part of the state-of-the-art electric bus platform for the Indian market. The next-generation E-Bus will meet India’s booming bus market, supported by over ten years of EV expertise, said the company.

Available in two variants: EiV 12 low floor and EiV 12 standard, these electric buses will provide the best-in-class reliability, range, and comfort. The EiV bus series, according to the company, has been specially created to meet the requirements of clients in several applications, including intra-city, intercity, staff, school, and tarmac, while offering the highest possible passenger capacity and comfort. Additionally, the buses feature a brand-new generation of improved lithium-ion NMC chemistry and modular batteries that are incredibly efficient and were specifically designed for the market and environment of India.

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