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Do commuters intend to avail electric street cars as public transport? Evidence from urban India

Oindrila Dey (Department of Economics, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade–Kolkata Campus, Kolkata, India)
Debalina Chakravarty (Department of Economics, St Xavier's University, Kolkata, India)

International Journal of Emerging Markets

ISSN: 1746-8809

Article publication date: 13 December 2022




Electric street car (ESC) is a globally popular clean and safe electric transport system for urban agglomeration. India envisions achieving “all-electric transport” by 2030, yet ESC as a modal transport alternative is not distinct in the policy discussion. The emerging market for electric transportation in urban spaces requires a detailed demand study at the service user level to remove behavioural barriers and design integrated energy planning in developing economies. This paper explores the probabilistic uptake intentions of the daily public transport commuters for ESCs over e-buses from the only Indian city with operational ESCs, Kolkata.


Using a random utility model on primary survey data from daily commuters, the authors identify demographic, psychometric and socio-economic factors influencing probabilistic uptake of ESC over e-buses.


It estimates that 38% of the commuters demand ESC over e-buses, given the alternatives' comparative details. Factors like frequent availability and technological upgradation would increase the uptake of ESCs.

Social implications

The study highlights that even though there are infrastructural challenges in the implementation of ESC, so does any other electric transport system; it is worth considering as a decarbonising transport alternative, given the high up-take intension of the users.


This is the first attempt to study the demand for ESC in developing economies, identifying the factors which may be considered in the sustainable urban transportation policy perspective.



The authors thank FLAME University, India, for the financial support. Debalina Chakravarty acknowledges post-doctoral fellowship at Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta. The authors acknowledge the contribution by Mallika Bhowmick and Chandramoulli Singh towards the project. The authors also thank the participants of the Annual Conference on Economic Growth and Development by Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, in December 2018, Indian National Society for Ecological Economics (INSEE) conference, 2019 and Economics Group, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, for their insightful comments. The authors are responsible for remaining errors, if any.


Dey, O. and Chakravarty, D. (2022), "Do commuters intend to avail electric street cars as public transport? Evidence from urban India", International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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