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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has inked a $40 million financing package with India-based shared electric mobility company GreenCell Express (GEPL) to develop 255 battery-powered electric buses (e-buses).
The e-buses will serve 5 million people annually and run across 56 intercity routes. ADB said the new e-buses would enhance passenger safety, specifically for women.
The package comprises a $20.5 million loan from ADB’s ordinary capital resources, ADB’s administration of a $14 million loan from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), grants worth $325,000 from the CTF, and $5.2 million from Goldman Sach’s and Bloomberg’s the Climate Innovation and Development Fund (CIDF).
ADB also helped mobilize an additional parallel loan of $20.5 million from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
The project qualified for a 2x gender financing rating — a challenge launched at the G7 summit in 2018 to encourage gender lens investing among development finance institutions.
Of the 255 e-buses, the CIDF grant will finance the decarbonization of 100 buses powered with solar-plus-battery energy storage systems (BESS), mitigating around 6,255 tons of carbon dioxide annually.
The e-buses will be equipped with improved security features, including panic buttons connected to command controls for an immediate response to benefit female passengers. The e-buses will include cameras, panic buttons, adequate depot lighting, seating arrangements, tracking, and awareness-raising materials.
ADB Private Sector Operations Department Director General Suzanne Gaboury said, “Decarbonization of public transport in India is essential for the country to reach its net-zero climate commitments, and it’s important to ensure the safety and security of women passengers to make travel more inclusive. By providing safe transport for women, these intercity buses will enhance their ability to participate in economic and livelihood opportunities.”
GEPL is a wholly owned subsidiary of GreenCell Mobility, a Green Growth Equity Fund platform, an alternative investment fund managed by EverSource Capital, aimed at mobilizing institutional capital for green infrastructure in India.
In February 2021, GreenCell Mobility announced an investment of ₹4 billion (~$55.09 million) in a consortium run by PMI Electro Mobility Solutions to deploy 350 e-buses across Uttar Pradesh.
Last month, Convergence Energy Services Limited issued an expression of interest to empanel financial institutions to finance electric vehicles in partnership with state governments.