NEW DELHI, INDIA (7 November 2022) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $40 million financing package with GreenCell Express Private Limited (GEPL) to develop 255 electric battery-powered buses (e-buses) to serve 5 million people a year on 56 intercity routes in India and enhance the safety of passengers, especially women, through improved security features including panic buttons connected to command controls for immediate response.
The financial package comprises $20.5 million loan (in equivalent Indian rupee) 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 assisted in mobilizing an additional parallel loan of $20.5 million from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
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 tons of carbon dioxide a year. Overall, the project will reduce emissions by 14,780 tons 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,” said ADB Private Sector Operations Department Director General Suzanne Gaboury. “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 expected to grow rapidly as the country urbanizes. In 2020, road transport accounted for 87% of all passenger trips, 18% of total energy consumption, and 11.7% of greenhouse gas emissions.
Safety features at project bus depots and e-buses will include cameras, panic buttons, adequate depot lighting, seating arrangements, tracking, and awareness-raising materials. Training programs will be held for bus drivers and cabin hosts on safety protocols focused on women passengers. GEPL is also implementing a diversity and inclusion roadmap to initiate a program to build a stronger pool of women in leadership and technical roles.
This project has 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.
“Electrifying transportation is a key driver of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our cities. This funding accelerates our agenda of promoting and investing in clean and sustainable businesses in India to achieve India’s climate objectives and Sustainable Development Goals,” said EverSource Capital Managing Director and CEO Dhanpal Jhaveri. “With GreenCell Express Private Limited (GEPL) offering, we bring to the intercity bus travel segment, electric buses that reinforce safe, seamless travel experience for new age Indian travellers, especially women."
GEPL is a wholly owned subsidiary of GreenCell Mobility Private Limited (GreenCell), a platform company of Green Growth Equity Fund (GGEF). GGEF is an Indian alternative investment fund in India managed by EverSource Capital with a mandate to mobilize institutional capital into green infrastructure in India.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.