The Centre is considering a big leap towards shifting lakhs of commercial vehicles to the “electric mode”.
The Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways has paved way for installation of nearly 1,200 charging points on the PPP basis that will allow charging of electricity-run vehicles within one to six hours. The pilot project is likely to begin in Nagpur this month and charging points will be set up at fuel stations in the city.
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- A senior transport ministry official said, they are in talks with two private companies including app-based taxi service provider Ola, which will introduce 50 electric cars in the pilot project and depending on the success of the experiment, the company plans to add more electric cars to its fleet.
- The final decision will be taken in the next couple of weeks. Officials have also identified Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat where the project is likely to be started in the next phase.
- The two companies gave a detailed presentation before the Niti Aayog this week. As per the proposal, charging points can be installed at petrol pumps and other convenient locations across the city
- There will be two types of charging points-fast and slow charging units. In the pilot project, 200 fast charging points will be installed that will fully charge an all-electric vehicle (EV) in one hour.
- The other unit will take six hours to fully charge a vehicle, the proposal said. The companies plan to set up 1,000 slow charging points for this project.
- “It has been the constant endeavour of Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari to popularise electric vehicles in India for cleaner environment. Unavailability of charging points is a major hurdle in this direction. The pilot project for setting up charging points is likely to be rolled out in Nagpur this month. The modalities are being worked out,” said a senior transport ministry official.
- The development comes in wake of the government announcing subsidy on electric cars in India.
- While the government is planning to ban diesel vehicles in a phased manner, it aims to roll out over 50 lakh electric and hybrid vehicles in the next three years.
- And, to cater to the needs of highend users, the government may also bring luxury electric sedans.
- Gadkari, during his visit to the United States last year, also urged American electric car manufacturer Tesla to start manufacturing in India.
- Officials said the government is also considering Voluntary Vehicle Fleet Modernisation program that proposes to incentivise the buyers. As per the plan, the government will offer tax benefits and discounts to people who junk old vehicles and replace them with new ones.
- Its primary objective is to reduce emissions by scrapping old fuel guzzling and polluting vehicles.
- According to estimates, there are nearly 30 lakh vehicles in Delhi that are 10 to 15 years old and thus are a major source of air and noise pollution.
- The government wants to remove these vehicles and replace them with non-polluting vehicles.
- Officials say, if the government manages to introduce 50 lakh electric vehicles on Indian roads, it will save up to 9,500 million tonnes of fossil fuel and reduce emission of green house gases by up to 2 lakh million tonnes.
- According to a study conducted by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) and the Ministry of Heavy Industry, India has the potential to reach sales of over 7 million electric vehicles by 2020.
- Gadkari had earlier proposed to make cycle tracks on all major roads across the country, including on highways, and favoured a shift towards electricity-based public transport. services, including electric cars being run as taxi in some cities.