Soon, Chandigarh officials will only move around in electric vehicles
In a major move towards clean-energy, the UT administration is all set to start the process of replacement of its fleet of official vehicles with electric ones.
Confirming the development, UT adviser Dharam Pal, said, “Within all the departments, we are looking at buying only electric vehicles from hereon and all condemned vehicles will also be replaced by e-vehicles.”
Batting for e-vehicles for the city, Pal, said, “The city is small. E-vehicles can serve our purpose very well. In fact, e-vehicles are designed for a city like Chandigarh.”
Pal has already directed the finance department to issue necessary instructions to other departments on the issue. The UT engineering department has also been directed to examine the requirement of necessary infrastructure for e-vehicles.
“I have already held discussions with the engineering and finance departments on the issue. They are looking at what infrastructure is required to back-up the decision. It will require charging systems in all government offices,” said Pal.
The induction of e-vehicles in the UT official fleet of cars is part of Pal’s focus on improving mobility within the city. “The inter-city connectivity issues would require time and beset with inter-state coordination issues. I am not overly focused on outer towns. I am only looking at the requirement within the city,” said Pal.
Notably, earlier this year, Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari had also made a case for making it mandatory for all officials in government ministries and departments to use electric vehicles.
20% to be replaced in next three years
Debendra Dalai, chief executive officer, Chandigarh Renewable Energy and Science and Technology (CREST), said, “We are planning to replace 20% of the current official fleet of vehicles with e-vehicles in next three to four years. For official use in the city, e-vehicles are the best option. This will be beneficial for the environment and the administration will save a huge amount in running and maintenance costs.”
Currently, the department has nine such vehicles which include e-cars and e-scooters. “The cost of running an e-car is around ₹0.50 per km. At the same time, a petrol car costs around ₹10 per km, which mainly includes maintenance and cost of fuel. The electric vehicles only require recharging of battery and vehicle as such doesn’t have high-maintenance costs,” said Dalai.
Infrastructure available in city
For improving the charging infrastructure in the city, the CREST is also planning having additional number of charging stations in the city. “Currently, we have nine points with 48 charging stations in the city. These are slow chargers. In addition to these, at the same nine points, we are planning to have fast chargers,” said Dalai.
The UT transport department plans to replace its entire fleet of around 360 local buses with electric buses. Forty buses have already been procured. The prototype bus will be inducted into the fleet by August 15. All of these 40 e-buses will be inducted by October this year. The transport department has also started the process of procuring another batch of 40 e-buses.