International Energy Agency (IEA) Featured Kolkata Electric Buses in Global Electric Vehicle Outlook 2020

News Desk, News Nation 360 : As part of its extensive work on electric vehicles (EVs), the International Energy Agency (IEA) published a case study on the impacts of increasing the share of e-buses in the state of Kolkata in India. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) conducted the case study with support from the IEA, the West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC), and the Department of Transport, Government of West Bengal. Currently, a third of all PM pollutants from Kolkata’s transport sector come from buses, due to the comparatively high pollution associated with the conventional fleet. Since 2019, the WBTC has introduced 80 domestically manufactured e-buses. 150 more will enter service in the mid-term, and by 2030, the state envisions a roll-out of 5,000 e-buses. The Increased deployment of e-buses will also incentivise local manufacturing and stimulates the mobility industry to move towards electrification. Expanding the e-bus fleet can directly lead to cleaner air locally, as well as contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. By 2030, it is expected that the e-buses will reduce annual CO2 emissions by almost 2,00,000 tonnes. Furthermore, the WBTC is planning to solarise bus depots and introduce battery storage, thereby further contributing to decarbonising the transport system. Aside from greatly reducing air pollution, the transition to electric public transport also makes financial sense, because battery-operated buses run at a third of the operational cost of a diesel bus. It is envisaged that the large scale deployment can bring down the high capital costs of these e-buses in the near future, a trend that has been seen in other countries. Dr Brian Motherway, Head of Energy Efficiency Division, IEA said that Energy efficiency is about learning from each other and highlighting good examples of success that all can benefit from. He is grateful to TERI, WBTC, and the Government of West Bengal for their important work in this cross-sectoral implementation effort, and commend them for highlighting the benefits of Kolkata’s electric mobility efforts. Examples such as these showcase the benefit and best practices of energy efficiency and electric mobility. The case study has also enabled Kolkata to act as an inspiration for other cities globally. Behind the successful running of 80 e-buses in the city is a smartly planned charging station placement and operation scheme, that leverages existing infrastructure and provides both slow and fast charging options. With increased renewables deployment introducing more variability in power systems, e-buses could provide a smart balancing opportunity as they interact with the grid.

Report : Anustup Kundu

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