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Introduction of electric buses (e-buses) is ushering in a new era of bus service provision in India. Firstly, e-buses themselves are an expensive new technology which vary significantly in operations, planning and maintenance compared to Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) buses. Further, State Transport Undertakings (STU)-which are the major public transport providers in India have traditionally owned and operated their buses. However, they are moving towards the Gross Cost Contract model of procurement under FAME-II which is new to them. Performance evaluation refers to specific monitoring and analysis processes to determine how well policies, programs and projects perform with regard to their intended goals and objectives.
DHI has already created the necessary ecosystem for a National level performance evaluation framework for e-buses by mandating all STUs and cities receiving FAME II subsidy to create an online platform for performance monitoring. Given the poor data management and ITS practices in many Indian public bus agencies, UITP-India has conducted a research study “National Framework for electric bus performance evaluation” to identify the key performance evaluation matrices for the e-bus deployment. The study identified the e-bus performance evaluation indicators in three categories:
Many indicators in each of these categories are already collected by Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT) typically. Three sources of data are identified for the new e-bus indicators, namely schedule wise charging reports of ITS, DISCOM utility bills, electricity readings at depots and at chargers and OEM/operator invoice. Further, the indicators need to be monitored by the authority at a certain frequency for which the data needs to be collected either daily, monthly or at the beginning of evaluation by adopting a multi-stakeholder approach for collection.
As a next step, it is important that e-bus specific KPIs are included into existing institutional mechanisms for performance evaluation. The implementing agencies and policy makers should ensure that data is collected effectively. Accordingly, the way forward for e-bus performance evaluation could be to:
The framework toolkit can be downloaded from here