2,000 electric buses in Delhi by end-2021: Govt
If all goes as planned, Delhi will have as many as 2,000 electric public transport buses by the end of 2021 and owners of electric two-wheelers and four-wheelers will be able to charge their vehicles at the existing fuel stations, transport minister Kailash Gahlot said on Saturday.
The development comes after RK Singh, Union minister of state (independent charge) for power and non-renewable energy, held a meeting with minister Gahlot and senior officials from the Centre and state power and transport departments on Thursday (August 20).
Singh’s office did not respond to calls and messages seeking his comment on the issue. But Gahlot said, “ We had a very fruitful discussion with the Union minister. He (Singh) has assured to get us subsidies from the Central government’s FAME II scheme for 700 more electric buses which will take Delhi’s total count of proposed e-buses to 2,000. The Centre’s support will act as a huge catalyst to the policy, and motivate more people and organisations to switch to EVs.”
The Central government’s second phase of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme provides cash incentives for the purchase of EVs, and was intended to push the two-wheeler market, apart from heavy passenger and goods transport vehicles, with an approved budget of ₹10,000 crore.
He said the Delhi EV policy, notified on August 8 by the Aam Aadmi Party-ruled Delhi government, was also extensively discussed with the Union minister.
“The first leg of the policy targets installation of 200 charging stations within the city in the next year, such that there is a charging station every 3km. Upon hearing this, the Union minister said the power ministry will explore the possibility of setting up EV charging points at all existing fuel stations in the national capital. If that happens, then there is no stopping Delhi from becoming the EV capital of India,” the transport minister said.
The Delhi Electric Vehicle Policy aims at having 5 lakh (25% of all new vehicle registrations) electric vehicles in Delhi by 2024. Along with providing category based incentives, it also aims to develop an effective network of charging stations and infrastructure throughout the city. The policy also has provisions to encourage more private players to venture into being partners in the initiative by setting up private charging stations or battery charging points.
As per government records, 1,000 electric buses for public transport, which were first committed by the Delhi government over two years ago, are at different phases of delivery. Apart from these, the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) is going to procure 300 e-buses after it managed to get an approval for subsidies under the Centre’s FAME II scheme.
Senior government officials said owing to the pandemic and the lockdown, the procurement process of these buses got delayed and the delivery of all 1,000 buses is likely to be completed by March next year.