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CESL launches tender for 5,580 electric buses to be deployed in five major cities

The cities to be covered under this ‘Grand Challenge’ are Bengaluru, Delhi, Surat, Hyderabad, and Kolkata in the first phase. The first lot of e-buses are expected to hit the roads by July this year.

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Tata Motors electric bus (Image for representational purposes only)

Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), today announced the floating of a request for proposals for the biggest ever demand for electric buses, under the ‘Grand Challenge’ – a set of homogenized demand for electric buses aggregated across five major cities. The scheme includes completely 100 percent electric buses and aims to reduce the operating costs for cities, removing bottlenecks of procuring e-buses by State Transport Undertakings (STUs).

The cities to be covered under this ‘Grand Challenge’ are Bengaluru, Delhi, Surat, Hyderabad, and Kolkata in the first phase. The first lot of e-buses are expected to hit the roads by July this year.

CESL aims to deploy 5,450 single decker buses and 130 double decker buses. CESL intends to enhance its support to state governments in achieving their electric mobility targets as well as further build an infrastructure for electric mobility in the country.

The benefits of participating in the Grand Challenge include lower prices realised due to aggregated demand, high quality technology, access to FAME-II incentives, access to state incentives, air quality improvement, and access to domestic and international sources of finances. Keeping in mind the changing environment where climate change related issues and energy independence have turned the focus on EVs, CESL will later be expanding support to more cities.

Also read: Electric, connected, and dynamic will be the way forward for intercity bus travel space — Prashant Kumar, zingbus

“The real meaning of aggregation across cities under an OPEX model is actually homogenization. This Grand Challenge Tender represents efforts by so many people – STUs, OEMs, financiers, Niti Aayog, DHI and ofcourse my colleagues. This is the biggest ever scheme in the world – and is based on an innovative, asset-light model that make it possible for STUs to deploy affordably and at scale,” Mahua Acharya, MD & CEO, CESL said.

Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog said, “Standardizing tendering conditions in diverse cities is a big step towards the transformation of public transport in India. Participation in the Grand Challenge is a commendable effort from STUs, who I am sure will stand to gain from economies of scale through the aggregation of demand by CESL.”

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