New Delhi: State-run Convergence Energy Services Ltd (CESL) on Thursday launched the biggest ever tender worth about Rs 5,500 crore to procure as many as 5,580 electric buses including 130 double deckers.
CESL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), on Thursday 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, according to a statement.
It said the tender value is estimated to be Rs 5,500 crore.
The cities to be covered under this “Grand Challenge” are Bangalore, 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, it added.
Through this ‘Grand Challenge’, CESL aims to deploy 5,450 single decker buses and 130 double decker buses.
“This Grand Challenge Tender represents efforts by so many people STUs, OEMs, financiers, Niti Aayog, DHI and of course my colleagues. This is the biggest ever scheme in the world, and is based on an innovative, asset-light model that makes it possible for STUs to deploy affordably and at scale,” Mahua Acharya, MD & CEO, CESL said.
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.
“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,” Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog said.
This is seen as a big step in the series of initiatives to fulfill the commitments made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making India a Net Zero nation by 2050 and getting closer to achieving Energy Independence by 2047, the statement said.
“I am pleased to announce today that Delhi has requested 1,500 buses under the Grand Challenge and stands ready to offer state subsidies where they are required. We are aggressively pursuing electric mobility and I commend CESL for its efforts to standardize the terms and conditions for how this is delivered,” Kailash Gahlot, Transport & Environment Minister of Delhi said.
The benefits of participating in the Grand Challenge include lower prices realized due to aggregate demand, high quality benchmarked 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.