The fund, which has a $120 million overall value, aims to reduce 4.7 million emissions.

SIDBI’s maiden climate tech fund secures $24.5 Mn from Green Climate Fund 

Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has secured $24.5 Mn from Green Climate Fund (GCF) for its first sustainability and climate focused fund Avaana Sustainability Fund (ASF). The development occurred on March 6 at the 38th GCF Board meeting in Kigali, Rwanda. ASF is a $120 million venture capital fund with the goal of funding Indian climate tech firms in their early stages. According to a statement from SIDBI, the fund would use the $120 million capital to invest in MSMEs and startups in industries such as sustainable resource management, supply chains and mobility, and sustainable agricultural and food systems. The fund, which has a $120 million overall value, aims to reduce 4.7 million emissions. The fund is classified as a Category “C” fund by the UN, which indicates that there are either no or very little negative risks involved.

Centre invites bids for 3,132 electric buses under PM-eBus sewa initiative

The Centre-owned Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL) invited bids to select an operator for the procurement, supply, operation, and maintenance of 3,132 electric buses (e-bus) and the development of allied electric and civil infrastructure on gross cost contracting under Pradhan Mantri (PM)-eBus Sewa initiative. Bidders must submit a non-refundable tender fee of ₹25,000 (~$301), Mercom reported.

The tender is divided into Package-1 for 9-meter and 12-meter-long buses and Package-2 for 7-meter-long buses. The scheme released a list of state-wise number of buses and the respective earnest money deposit (EMD). The maximum number of buses allocated under Package-1 is 1700. There are no such restrictions for Package 2. Winning bidders must provide a performance guarantee of 3-10% of the contract value. CESL will support the bidders in obtaining the necessary permissions to carry out the work.

Direct air capture tech company in US raises $80 million from Saudi Aramco, others

According to Reuters, US-based climate technology firm CarbonCapture raised $80 million from a number of investors, most notably the venture capital division of Saudi Aramco. The report said the money raised in CarbonCapture’s latest funding round represents one of the largest injections of private capital into direct air capture (DAC) —a technology that has yet to be proven at scale— over the last five years, as per the industry tracker PitchBook. CarbonCapture builds modular machines that contain material that absorbs CO2 when cooled and releases it when heated. That allows it to capture the gas for storage underground or used in products such as concrete. Other contributors include Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, Siemens Financial Services, Idealab X, and Marc Benioff’s Time Ventures.

Xiaomi to begin electric car sales from this month

Chinese technology company Xiaomi announced it will begin shipping its first electric vehicle (EV) this month, marking its entry into the automobile sector. The car’s price is expected to be revealed on March 28. The fifth-largest smartphone manufacturer in China claims to have 59 locations to accept orders across 29 cities. It coincides with the escalation of a pricing war in China, the largest auto market in the world, between companies like BYD and Tesla. Lei Jun, the CEO of Xiaomi, stated last year that the company wants to rank among the top five automakers globally and added that they plan to invest $10 billion (£7.8 billion) over the next 10 years in its automobile venture. 

Tata Motors urges govt to extend incentives for EV for three more years

Citing global EV leader China’s example, Tata Motors urged the government to extend incentives on electric taxis for another three years and also include personal cars in the government’s flagship demand support programme FAME. Shailesh Chandra, managing director, Tata Passenger Electric Mobility and Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles, said major economies like China and Germany have continued to support EV adoption with demand subsidies until the achievement of at least 20% EV adoption. 

He also added that the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Industry had also recommended in 2023 that the government broaden the scope and extend FAME by at least three more years to make the scheme more inclusive. In order to encourage wider adoption, Tata Motors has urged the Centre to keep supporting electric taxis with an incentive of ₹10,000/kWh battery size for the next three years. The company has also asked that future incentive plans include personal vehicles as well. For a maximum of 30,000 vehicles under FAME 2, the government now only offers subsidies of ₹10,000/kWh to passenger cars utilised by taxi operators. Although sales of electric taxis have increased annually to a total of 16,000 EVs, they are still less than the government’s goal of 30,000 battery-powered taxis.

Ola publishes 205 patents in 2023 on battery tech and EV

As per the Intellectual Property of India, Ola Electric has become the first Indian company to publish 205 patents related to EVs and EV technologies. The EV company filed these patents in 2022-23 and their publication comes weeks before as the brand is working on raising ₹5,500 crore by issuing new shares in its proposed IPO. TVS comes in second place with 156 published patents, followed by Suzuki (78 published patents), Honda (77 published patents), and even BYD, a manufacturer of four-wheelers, with 58 published patents. Of the 205 patents that Ola has filed, 92 are in battery technology, 27 are in software, 19 deal with the controller and vehicle safety and security area, and 12 deal with the motor and gearbox segment. The remaining 36 are in AI, other related tech, and vehicle body components.