Move part of efforts to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, tackle air pollution
NEW DELHI: The red beacons may be gone, but Central government vehicles may soon have a whole new identity. This is because all government offices and state-owned firms in New Delhi have been requested to switch over to electric vehicles, as part of efforts to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and cut down air pollution.
The Centre has now set a target of converting 30 per cent of the country’s total vehicle fleet to electric by 2030.
In a letter to the nodal Ministries and Departments, the Ministry of Power has urged them to ask their officers to use electric vehicles procured through state-run Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) for travel within the National Capital Region.
“These cars run for 130 km on a single charge and the cost of operations is almost one-third that of a petrol car,” RK Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power and New and Renewable Energy, wrote in a recent letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, adding that switching to electric vehicles will also help reduce air pollution.
As part of the initiative, charging facilities are also being set up at various locations.
In August last year, Managing Director of EESL, Saurabh Kumar had told BusinessLine thecompany will procure 10,000 electric sedans in a bid to increase the popularity of such vehicles in the country. He said, “The tender will be in two phases. We will procure 1,000 cars in the first phase.”
As part of the plan, government offices in New Delhi and the National Capital Region will begin using the vehicles and would charged 90 per cent of the monthly cost of the current vehicles to replace them with the electric ones.
In September last year, EESL announced that it would procure 10,000 electric vehicles from Tata Motors Ltd. It was the world’s largest single electric vehicle procurement. Tata Motor Ltd will provide electric vehicles to EESL for ₹11.2 lakh which will be inclusive of GST and a comprehensive five-year warranty.
According to the Power Ministry, government offices have the option to either purchase the vehicles at the discovered price by EESL, lease cars and drivers at a monthly rate of ₹40,000 each or rent a car without a driver for ₹20,000 per month from the agency.
EESL will also provide facilities for road side assistance and maintenance and repair of such cars.
Government offices have already begun to work out their requirements and are expected to finalise their agreements with EESL in the next few months.
Significantly, some government offices have already begun adopting electric vehicles.