New Delhi, India (Urban Transport News): In a significant development, Germany's state-owned development bank, KfW, is in talks with New Delhi to provide financial backing to India's ambitious electric mobility initiative. The Union cabinet had greenlit a ₹57,613-crore scheme in August, aiming to introduce 10,000 electric buses across 169 cities.
KfW, known for its support to high-profile metro projects in India since 1958, has engaged in discussions with the Indian government, including the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, to extend its financial support to this pioneering project.
The German bank's involvement in India spans several sectors, with a focus on sustainable energy generation, urban development, sustainable mobility, and climate initiatives. Notably, it has played a pivotal role in financing projects such as the development of a water metro system in Kochi and supporting the Nagpur metro with a substantial €500 million loan in 2016.
India, contributing ₹20,000 crore to the scheme, plans to implement it as a public-private partnership, aiming to enhance urban bus services. A press release from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in August highlighted the project's broader goals, stating, "The support to bus priority infrastructure shall not only accelerate the proliferation of state-of-the-art, energy-efficient electric buses but also foster innovation in the e-mobility sector as well as the development of a resilient supply chain for electric vehicles."
KfW Bank, working on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), has consistently supported projects in developing nations.
As India anticipates a rise in the urban population to 50% by 2050, climate-resilient infrastructure development in cities becomes crucial. KfW's website emphasizes its commitment to promoting green urban mobility, including expanding metro and underground lines, improving bus transport, transitioning to electric buses, and creating better links between various transport systems.
The depth of KfW's engagement with India is evident in the €13 billion government commitments since the beginning of German development cooperation in 1958, making it the highest amount received worldwide.
In a broader context, the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chancellor Olaf Scholz in 2022 witnessed Germany's commitment to allocate €10 billion in development funding to India by 2030. This commitment underlines Germany's increasing focus on supporting development activities in India.
As India and Germany collaborate on this transformative electric mobility venture, the potential financial backing from KfW could play a pivotal role in shaping the future of sustainable urban transportation in the country.
The partnership between India and Germany, especially with KfW's potential financial support, signals a significant stride towards sustainable and innovative urban mobility. This collaboration not only aligns with the global push for green initiatives but also positions India at the forefront of the electric mobility revolution.