NEW DELHI: The Delhi government has set in motion the process of creating a vision document that could prepare the way for the first comprehensive policy on zero-emission vehicles in the capital. The focus will be on electric mobility across almost all types of vehicles, including buses, private cars, taxis, three wheelers and two wheelers.
With pollution an alarming existential concern now, a serious discussion around electric mobility being the future of Delhi is reportedly gaining momentum in government circles. Apparently chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is quite keen on a city-wide policy on zero-emissions vehicles. The transport department is likely to submit a draft format for discussion on the matter to the CM before the month end.
Even though sources in the CM’s office cautiously pointed out that electric mobility could not be a quick fix for pollution though it was a part of the long-term plan, they said the vision document would set the benchmark for the future of transportation in the capital. The solar policy announced in 2016 had steered the power focus towards clean energy, and adding electric buses to the Delhi’s fleet of public transport next year would sync with this promotion of clean energy.
According to sources, the biggest challenge in making electric mobility a reality is understanding the capital costs involved. Another test would be facilities for charging electric vehicles. “When you think of scaling the idea beyond buses to vehicles on the streets like taxis, three wheelers, two wheelers and even private cars, the scope is huge and will require a detailed policy for execution,” a source said.
The transport department is expected to return to the table with all aspects of electric mobility, right from the manufacturing of vehicles and supply-related aspects to charging facilities, from costs and financial incentives for electric vehicles to ground realities and market dynamics.
Meanwhile, DIMTS which is carrying out a study on trunk routes and feeder routes will submit its report by May next year. This will be DIMTS’s first report since the last study in 2011. The data collected, transport officials felt, would be critical for proper planning of the city’s transport, including for promoting zero-emission vehicles beyond buses.
On Friday, the transport department claimed that by November next year, Delhi would not only get 2,000 new CNG buses, but also standard-sized electric buses to run on the longer routes and midi- and mini-sized ones to provide last-mile connectivity between Delhi Metro stations and residential areas within a 5-km radius.