Former head of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and international diplomat Erik Solheim took to Twitter today and expressed his delight at Ahmedabad’s ongoing electric mobility revolution.
“Bravo Ahmedabad! 750 New electric buses. Pedestrian only bridge. Bike sharing. Green mobility is fast taking off in India. So promising!” tweeted Solheim, posting pictures of a few of the fifty buses formally handed over to the Gujarat government in August 2019.
750 New electric buses. Pedestrian only bridge. Bike sharing
Green mobility is fast taking off in India 🇮🇳. So promising! pic.twitter.com/3CEdgUudby
— Erik Solheim (@ErikSolheim) February 5, 2020
The buses had been procured under the FAME support scheme by the Gujarat government as part of its overall plan of procuring 500 buses for Ahmedabad. The first eight had in fact been flagged off by Home Minister Amit Shah in August 2019. Since then, the total number of buses to be procured has been raised to 750.
These buses have been made in India by Ashok Leyland, and have battery swapping facility inbuilt in them. This allows the buses to be fitted quickly with recharged batteries, enabling swifter redeployment if the original battery has discharged.
The Importance Of Electric Mobility
Electric mobility is critical to India’s efforts to combat climate change and air pollution, forming a critical part of the city action plans under the National Clean Air Plan and India’s Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement.
India’s electric mobility numbers speak for themselves. Apart from buses, nearly three lakh electric vehicles ply in India, having helped prevent 148 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. These numbers are dominated by the electric rickshaws and electric two wheelers. However, India remains dependent on imports of components and whole vehicles in some cases.
Keeping this mind, the Narendra Modi government had relaunched the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme in March 2019 to not just promote adoption but also manufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicles in the country. FAME II has also put emphasis on building the necessary infrastructure like charging stations in place, apart from providing incentives for purchasing such vehicles. Electric buses are already being manufactured by domestic and international players. Even global e-Bus giant BYD had made announcements on expanding their production in Tamil Nadu.
Surely, India’s electric mobility revolution has only begun.