2019-02-25
PM Narendra Modi Pushes Green Mobility in India: Electric Train, Buses and EV Policy for Cars

According to a study from the World Health Organization, 9 out of every 10 people in the world breathe air that contains high levels of pollutants and kills 7 million people each year. Vehicular pollution has been a major source of air pollution and efforts are being made on a global scale to reduce vehicular pollution as much as we can in the shortest possible time span. Electric vehicles are one such way to tackle the rising pollution level.

However, replacing the conventionally fuelled vehicles (gasoline/ diesel/ CNG) with electric vehicles needs a lot of R&D effort, infrastructure cost and willingness of consumers to spend extra on vehicles. In a market like India, all three possibilities will take years of hard work and effort from governments. What can be done, though, is implementing the EV policy on commercial vehicles like intra-city buses.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led Government of India is giving a serious push to the clean mobility initiative in the country. Recently, PM Modi flagged off a one-off electric locomotive that has been converted from a diesel engine. The Government is also pushing for electric vehicles in the country and announced that they are planning to install electric chargers every 25 km on the road.

Here’s all the efforts taken by the Government of India to promote electric vehicles in India, including electric trains, electric buses and electric cars!

Push for Electric Cars and Bikes

In response to a question in the Rajya Sabha, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways led by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari listed all the steps taken by the government to promote the use of electric vehicles in the country. Here are a few of them –

- The government had notified for retro-fitment of the hybrid electric system or electric kit to vehicles

- To provide EVs with a distinct identification, the registration mark for battery operated vehicles is to be on a plate with a green background

- To encourage the usage of electric two-wheelers of up to 4.0KW motor, the ministry has allowed granting license to the age group of 16-18 years to drive gearless e-scooters and bikes

- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has commercialized the indigenously developed lithium-ion battery technology and has already selected 14 companies for transfer of technology, which will promote localization of the technology, thus lowering the TCO for EVs.

State Run Electric Buses

A bus has to run a limited kilometer a day (Say 200km) and can be charged by a charging station in the depot itself. The Government of India has realized the potential of electric buses and pushing for more and more e-bus to ply on roads. The Ministry of Urban Development of the country recently launched the Green Urban Transport Scheme (GUTS) with the aim to reduce carbon emissions from the public transport vehicles in the country. The ministry proposed an INR 250 billion grant for developing electric vehicles for public transport.

And a lot of state governments are also supporting the cause. Electric bus manufacturers like Ashok Leyland, Goldstone Infratech, Tata Motors, JBM Auto, Solaris, BYD are all working with various state governments to electrify our public transport. Cities like Lucknow, Delhi, Sabarimala, Hyderabad have started the electric buses on a trial basis or have started full-fledged commercial operations.

The government's premier think-tank body, NITI Aayog has taken an initiative to provide a Model Concessionaire Agreement (MCA) document for introducing electric-bus fleet in cities for public transportation on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode on operational expenditure (per km basis) model rather than paying the upfront capital cost. This move is said to enable manufacturers as service providers, thus leading to lower capital expenditure for the government.

FAME Scheme

For promoting the adoption of electric mobility in the country, the government had launched the Phase-I of FAME India Scheme [Faster Adoption of Electric (& Hybrid) Vehicles in India] with effect from April 1, 2015. This was initially for a period of two years and has subsequently been extended till March 31, 2019. All electric and hybrid vehicles, including public transport, registered under the scheme are being incentivized under the demand-creation focus area of this scheme.

The Union Cabinet is likely to consider approval of the second phase of FAME India scheme this month to boost clean mobility, with an outlay of Rs 5,500 crore spanning five years, officials said. The scheme in its second phase will offer a bouquet of incentives, such as exemption from paying road tax, registration fee and parking charges for various categories of electric and strong hybrid vehicles.

The second phase of the scheme will be rolled out through verticals including demand incentives, a network of charging stations, pilot projects for innovative proposals, technology, a technology platform for e-mobility, and its administration.

World’s 1st Electric Train

In a first, the Indian Railways has converted a diesel locomotive into an electric one, as part of efforts to completely electrify the broad gauge network. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also flagged off an electric locomotive converted from a diesel engine at the Diesel Locomotives Works (DLW) in his constituency of Varanasi.

The work on the project began on December 22, 2017, and from concept to execution of the conversion of the diesel locomotive to electric was carried out in just 69 days, railway officials said. In keeping with the Indian Railways' Mission 100 percent electrification and de-carbonization agenda, DLW has developed a new prototype electric locomotive converted from diesel locomotive.

Source- News 18