Kolkata is the city onlys and firsts. It is the only city in India to have a tram network, only city in world to issue licenses for hand-pulled rickshaws. It is the first city in India to have a rapid transit system. It is a city with maximum types of transport modes. The existing old and yellow taxis are more than 15 years old. However, According to State of Global Air Report, Kolkata ranks as the 2nd most polluted city in the world. The average speed of the vehicles along Kolkata’s roads is 14-18 kmph as against 22 kmph for rest of India. This is the city where electric vehicles can provide a solution. There has however been slower adoption of electric vehicles in Kolkata as compared to other metro cities in the country. Through this project, TERI aims to address the multifaceted challenges envisaged by the West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) in terms of electrification of public transportation systems in Kolkata, which include induction of electric buses, the revival of the tram network, or electrification of ferries through the Selection of appropriate technology based on specific segments, innovative procurement, business models, availability of power infrastructure, etc.
Priyadarshini Alok, Assistant Manager, Electric Mobility, Shakti, attended the capacity building programme, where she presented the various financial models for deployment of E-Bus in Kolkata. She said, “The transition to electric buses requires a fundamental shift in financial planning because of multiple emerging business models. The cost structure of bus operations has fundamentally shifted from capital heavy to operationally light. With innovative policy levers, STUs can tap this great opportunity for attracting external capital for E-Bus transition.”