On 2nd January 2021, as the world was still grappling with the strict Corona lockdowns, limited flights and hotels being open, we at Energizing India had the opportunity to travel to Delhi to meet with Reji Pillai, President of India Smart Grid Forum. When we asked Reji what is the route to the quickest adoption of clean mobility in India, he responded with amazing clarity. A strong government policy focused on converting intra-city buses from ICE to fully electric. Reji suggested a government mandate and ban on new ICE buses for public transport, but in two years since that conversation, what has happened is classically Indian. There was no government ban and no overt government policy to change all public transport to fully electric in cities. But as everything beautiful and magical in India, it just started to happen.
Today most Indian megacities like Ahmedabad, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, amongst others already run more than a hundred electric buses each as part of their public transport system. The miracle happened while the rest of the industry was tracking the launch of the Kia EV6, the Mercedes EQS and the Ather scooters. Quietly and all of a sudden people in the big cities of India are travelling in greater comfort. Air-conditioned buses that are safer and don’t pollute the air while millions commute to and back from work every day.
So today we decided to focus on this public intracity bus sector, and we spoke with Ravi Panga, CEO of the Causis Group. A very interesting company that has acquired an electric bus tech company in Europe and whose electric bus operates in Kyrgyzstan, Mauritius, even in Qatar for the FIFA world cup and now the new Bombay double-decker electric bus that has us all so very excited.