The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a US$40 million financing package with GreenCell Express Private Limited (GEPL) to develop 255 electric buses (e-buses) for the Indian market.
The financial package comprises a US$20.5 million loan from ADB’s ordinary capital resources, ADB’s administration of a US$14 million loan from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), grants worth US$325,000 from the CTF, and US$5.2 million from Goldman Sachs’ and Bloomberg’s Climate Innovation and Development Fund (CIDF). ADB also assisted in mobilizing an additional parallel loan of US$20.5 million from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
The buses will serve five million people every year on 56 intercity routes in India. A defining feature of this project is the CIDF grant, which will partially finance the decarbonization of 100 of the 255 e-buses by deploying solar power-plus-battery energy storage systems, resulting in the reduction of about 6,355 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.
“Decarbonization of public transport in India is essential for the country to reach its net-zero climate commitments, and it’s important to ensure safety and security of women passengers to make travel more inclusive,” says Suzanne Gaboury, director general of ADB’s private sector operations department. “By providing safe transport for women, these intercity buses will enhance their ability to participate in economic and livelihood opportunities.”
India’s public transport needs are growing rapidly as the country’s urbanization accelerates. In 2020, road transport accounted for 87% of all passenger trips, 18% of total energy consumption, and 11.7% of greenhouse gas emissions.
GEPL is a wholly owned subsidiary of GreenCell Mobility Private Limited, a platform company of Green Growth Equity Fund (GGEF). GGEF is an alternative investment fund managed by EverSource Capital with a mandate to mobilize institutional capital into green infrastructure in India.