Delhi government is in talks with the Centre in order to ease restrictions on the number of electric buses that can be inducted under the FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles) scheme. The government wants up to 5,000 electric buses to be added in the Delhi public transport fleet in the next five years.
Jasmine Shah, vice-chairperson of the Delhi Dialogue and Development Commission was recently speaking at a webinar organised by the Centre for Science and Environment to discuss ways to build scale and speed up zero-emission mobility. There, he mentioned that the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has already floated a tender for 300 e-buses and as a large part of its fleet is going to retire in the next couple of years, there is an opportunity to scale up the number of e-buses.
Shah said – “This is where the alignment with FAME needs to be improved. The upfront subsidy that FAME gives drives down the cost per km and a state like Delhi can easily absorb three or five thousand e-buses in the next five years.,”
Shah added that Delhi’s EV policy gives generous incentives and the two-wheelers and three-wheelers are going to be the game changers when it comes to scale and volume. “Delhi government is giving the remaining permits for auto rickshaws only to e-autos and there would be more than 4,000 e-autos in the city soon,” he said.
FAME mentions restrictions on how many e-buses can be subsidised, but that doesn’t work for a city of the scale of Delhi, Mumbai or Bengaluru. As Delhi has the know-how, backend support and infrastructure the restrictions should be eased, he said.