Nagpur, May 27: Union Surface Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis jointly launched India’s first fleet of 200 electric vehicles in Nagpur on Friday.
Termed as Multimodal Electric Vehicle Project, this is seen as first step in shifting the road transport in the country from fossil fuel to electric power.
The launch of this project was timed to coordinate with completion of three years of Narendra Modi government.
This unique project brings together e-buses, e-cabs, e-rickshaws and e-autos on a single platform, the Ola App, which will enable commuters in Nagpur to book them. The fleet of 200 vehicles consists of 100 of Mahindra’s new e20 Plus vehicles, besides those from other manufacturers like Tata Motors, Kinetic and TVS.
Speaking on the occasion Gadkari said that it was his Government’s vision to make India a 100 percent e-vehicle nation. He said his Ministry was prepared to facilitate manufacturers and other companies to take the Nagpur model to other parts of the country.
He said e-vehicles need to be promoted in order to cut down the huge crude oil bill, reduce pollution and create cost effectiveness in transportation. To begin with, the emphasis would be on commercial vehicles and then on others.
Gadkari informed that growing demand, coupled with R&D would gradually help to bring down the operational costs, and especially the battery cost. He added that once the cost of batteries comes down, e-vehicles will compete with diesel and petrol vehicles and finally phase them out.
“The new e-transport is indigenous, cost-effective, import-substituting and pollution-free and will be dully taken to all parts of the country to fulfil the target of shifting the road transport completely to electrically charged vehicles by 2030”, he said.
The Minister also assured that bringing in the e-vehicles will not result in unemployment. “IN doing this we will ensure that people will not lose their jobs. We will see to it that more jobs are created. We will give loans for shifting from fossil fuel vehicles to electric ones”, he added.