Revolutionising urban mobility: EV integration in public transport for cleaner cities | Autocar Professional

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Revolutionising urban mobility: EV integration in public transport for cleaner cities | Autocar Professional


Urban mobility is at a crossroads, where the demand for advancement collides with the need for sustainability. As cities throughout the world struggle with pollution and congestion caused by traditional public transport systems, the integration of electric vehicles (EVs) into public transport appears to be a viable answer for cleaner, smarter cities. Cities, which are sometimes regarded as the epicenters of progress, bear the brunt of traditional fossil-fuel-powered transportation, negatively damaging air quality and public health. The need for a sustainable and environmentally conscientious means of transportation has never been greater. Green mobility is a philosophy that emphasises transit options that reduce environmental impact, improve energy efficiency, and enhance the overall urban experience.

By using cutting-edge technology, smart cities have become global pioneers in altering urban landscapes. In line with this worldwide trend, India has launched on a transformative path with its Smart Cities Mission (SCM), focusing heavily on the broad adoption of EVs as a crucial component of urban sustainability. However, embracing EVs presents obstacles, notably in terms of infrastructural development. The establishment of powerful charging networks is a fundamental prerequisite for the broad adoption of EVs. The Indian government’s ambitious target of 30% EV penetration by 2030 necessitates collaboration between state governments and business enterprises.

Despite these obstacles, the Indian automobile sector is set to rebound in 2023. Overcoming challenges such as rising borrowing rates and compliance with new pollution and safety standards, the industry is predicted to increase at a noteworthy Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.3% until 2027. This expected rise is fueled by factors such as greater disposable income, credit availability, and a growing population. Similarly, the scenario of India’s electric vehicles (EV) industry in 2023 displays extraordinary growth, with a 49% compound annual growth rate expected between 2022 and beyond. The domestic EV market is expected to reach an astonishing USD 113.99 billion by 2029, thanks to government measures like as the FAME scheme and lower GST rates.

As the country begins on a transformative journey towards sustainable mobility, assessing India’s readiness for the electric vehicle revolution is critical. Policy alignment, infrastructural readiness, consumer acceptance, supply chain readiness, environmental impact, economic ramifications, and technology readiness must all be considered in this assessment. The success of EV adoption is dependent on overcoming these issues jointly. Electric buses emerge as change agents in the field of public transportation. They reimagine the passenger experience in addition to lowering emissions and operating expenses. Over 2,500 electric buses from various manufacturers are already running, demonstrating the nation’s dedication to environmental responsibility and innovation, thanks to the Indian government’s active promotion of their adoption.

To combat automobile pollution, the Indian government has launched programmes such as the FAME India project and the FAME II plan. FAME II, which has a budget of Rs 10,000 crore, aims to promote the usage of electric vehicles, particularly electric buses. The success of these projects is dependent on collaboration between the government and the business sector. Studies show that switching to an all-electric bus fleet in cities like Delhi has the potential to reduce pollution emissions by 74%. This reduction not only addresses air pollution but also becomes a strong instrument in lowering the number of early deaths caused by pollutants—an issue that contributes to 17% of annual fatalities in India.

The transformation of urban mobility through EV integration in public transport is more than just a shift in cars; it signifies a complete transformation of urban environments. Collaboration, constant technology improvements, and unwavering policy backing are the pillars of driving the EV revolution. By embracing electric mobility, India has the opportunity not just to tackle environmental concerns, but also to pave the way for an efficient and sustainable urban transportation network.

Ultimately, the integration of electric vehicles into public transportation represents a profound revolution, not just an evolution. By switching from conventional modes of transportation to cleaner and more sustainable modes of transport, cities are committed to creating cleaner and smarter urban spaces that harmonise progress and environmental stewardship.

Hirdesh Thakur is Executive Director at EKA Mobility. Views expressed are those of the author.

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