50% of Karnataka govt vehicles to be electric: Deputy CM

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About 50 per cent of vehicles owned by the Karnataka government will be electric in the next 2-3 years to promote e-mobility and curb pollution, Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan saud on Monday.

“We will replace 50 per cent of all petrol/diesel government vehicles with a electric version to encourage e-mobility and reduce air pollution,” he said at a virtual panel discussion on ‘future of sustainable mobility’, held as a part of the ‘Harvard-India Conference’ here.

Noting that the state was ready for partnership in the e-mobility sector, Narayan said battery-charging points would be set up in high-rise buildings, at metro rail stations, malls, IT parks and apartments for powering electric vehicles, including cars and buses.

“As absence of charging points in cities and towns is a major constraint, the state government is working to increase them for promoting greater use of e-vehicles,” he said. The state government will also improve and expand the infrastructure for electric vehicles at public places, set up dedicated parks for e-cabs and making EV-charging points mandatory, said Narayan.

“Electric charging points will also be installed on state/national highways between Bengaluru and Mysuru, Chennai and other cities and towns across the state,” he added. A high-tech Karnataka Electric Mobility Research and Innovation Centre will be set up in this tech city for creating an ecosystem for e-mobility in the state, he said.

“E-vehicles will be safe, sustainable and affordable. As India is a power surplus country, EVs will improve energy utilisation,” added Narayan. The Central government has been supporting the e-mobility efforts across the country through funding research and providing a platform for the design, development and demonstration of EV projects.

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As a tech-savvy state, Karnataka plans to increase its market share of the digital engineering innovation economy to 50 per cent from 30 per cent, with cleantech, EVs, aerospace, med-tech and construction offering opportunities to spur growth.