Mr. Pawan Goenka, Managing director of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., rightly puts the green public transportation system as “one of the necessary ingredients of a smart city”.
Nagpur, en route to become one such in the country, has obtained this necessary ingredient in the smartest way.
The city became the proud recipient of India’s ‘first multi-modal electric vehicle project’ recently.
The new project comprises 200 electric taxis and e-rickshaws and over 50 charging points across four strategic locations across the city which will be run by Cab aggregator Ola.
Ola made an investment of Rs 50 crore in the Nagpur initiative and plans to invest $2 billion in e-vehicles in all cities of India to run one million electric vehicles on the Ola platform by 2020.
Mahindra & Mahindra group’s Mahindra Electric has manufactured 100 e2o electric taxis while Kinetic Green Energy and Power Solutions has supplied 100 e-rickshaws, Kinetic Safar.
Electric and hybrid vehicles along with alternative fuels like ethanol bio diesel, bio CNG are gaining traction as import substitutes and cost effective, pollution free efforts to reduce India’s crude oil import bill. India’s crude imports currently stand at Rs. 7 lakh crore.
With an aim to promote eco-friendly vehicles, the government had launched the FAME India scheme in 2015. Under the scheme, incentives on electric and hybrid vehicles of up to Rs 29,000 for bikes and Rs 1.38 lakh for cars were offered to push sales and production of electric vehicles in the country.
A 12% levy on pure electric vehicles (EVs) has been proposed under the goods and services tax regime, a move that reflects the government’s intention to push its adoption.
The announcements have also drawn global automobile majors’ interest in the electric vehicle segment in India. Chinese automobile manufacturers such as BYD and SAIC that are already investing heavily in electric technology eye India as potential markets. Japanese automaker Suzuki has already announced a joint venture with Toshiba and Denso to developing lithium ion batteries for electric vehicles in India.
The government has plans to develop low-cost lithium-ion batteries in India and efforts are on to remodel the battery made by Indian Space Research Organisation to make it fit for use in electric vehicles. The government has set an ambitious target of selling six million such vehicles by 2020.
The size of the automobile industry, which is at Rs 4.5 lakh crore, is estimated to grow to Rs 25 lakh crore and India’s energy import bill is expected to double from around $150 billion to $300 billion by 2030.
Government think-tank NITI Aayog in a recent report envisages that India can conservatively save up to 64% of anticipated passenger mobility-related energy demand and 37% of carbon emissions by 2030. At current oil prices, this will imply a net fuel cost saving of approximately Rs 3.9 lakh crore by 2030.
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