Narayankumar Sreekumar, Associate Director, Electric Mobility, Shakti, was one of the key discussants at the roundtable ‘Unlocking Financing to Revolutionize Electric Bus Adoption’ at the event Connect Karo 2023 organised by World Resources Institute (WRI). “Sustainable business models need to be centred on simplicity, affordability, and a focus on core services. Along with payment security mechanisms, it is crucial to focus on these key pillars to bring operational efficiency, which would help advance sustainable financing for electrifying public transport,” said Narayankumar.
The roundtable focussed on highlighting challenges in financing e-bus operations in India and deliberating on policy interventions to overcome the financial barriers and promoting widespread adoption of e-buses.
In 2017, India pledged to achieve 30% electric vehicle (EV) penetration in new vehicle sales by 2030 under the EV30@30 initiative by Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) and the International Energy Agency (IEA). However, the lack of funding mechanisms hinders transit agencies from reaching the national goal of electrifying bus transportation.
To make electrification of buses viable and bankable, there is a need to establish favorable ecosystems for financing such projects. In line with this objective, WRI India fostered discussions on frameworks that can enhance financial access for procuring e-buses in public transportation.
- Establish the need for consistent financing/commitment on viability gap funding (VGF) to scale-up e-bus operations.
- Explore potential financing opportunities for electrifying bus transport.
- Outline policy frameworks required to ensure viability and bankability of e-bus deployment.
The Connect Karo 2023 event is aimed at fostering peer-to-peer knowledge sharing among transit agencies, private operators, governments, financing agencies and manufacturers. It was a platform for multiple stakeholders from India and abroad to share their knowledge, perspectives, and experiences as well as to ease collaborations toward finding meaningful responses to critical environmental and sustainability challenges. Shakti participated and contributed to Connect Karo 2023, which was a lively, dialogic space where ministers, administrators, policy makers, investors, philanthropists, business leaders and journalists deliberate with sectoral experts, practitioners, and researchers aimed to reach an evidence-based understanding of complex, sectoral issues and seek nuanced, contextualized solutions to some of the most urgent challenges of our times.