In green push, army draws up electric vehicle plan for cars, buses, motorcycles

Updated on Oct 12, 2022 06:01 PM IST

The EV push will see the Indian Army replace around 25% light vehicles, 38% buses and 48% of motorcycles at select peace-time units and formations with adequate charging infrastructure

A tender for buying 60 buses along with 24 fast chargers for the Indian Army is expected to be floated soon (Photo : Videograb/MAM media & marketing)
A tender for buying 60 buses along with 24 fast chargers for the Indian Army is expected to be floated soon (Photo : Videograb/MAM media & marketing)

NEW DELHI: The Indian Army plans to induct electric vehicles (EV) wherever possible, considering its operational commitments, to reduce carbon emissions and cut dependence on fossil fuels, with the force setting a target for inducting light vehicles, buses and motor cycles across different locations, officials familiar with the matter said on Wednesday asking not to be named.

“Various factors unique to the army’s employability, remote locations of employment and operational commitments were considered to arrive at a definite time-bound road map for inducting electric vehicles,” said one of the officials cited above.

The EV push will see the army replace around 25% light vehicles, 38% buses and 48% of motorcycles at select peace-time units and formations with adequate charging infrastructure, he said. This is being done in line with the army’s requirements and employability of EVs in different terrains.

The EV push has already been started in New Delhi and is expected to be extended to Lucknow, Pune and Kolkata, according to the officer.

The army is setting up infrastructure to support the EV push.

It has set up charging points in parking lots of offices and residential complexes, installed transformers with adequate load bearing capability based on anticipated number of EVs per station. Solar panel driven charging stations are in the works, said a second official.

The existing deficiency of buses will be met by procuring electric buses for select peace establishments for initial exploitation, the official said, adding that a tender for buying 60 buses along with 24 fast chargers is expected to be floated soon.

The army will progressively induct more EVs. “Considering the pace of green initiatives being adopted by the government and efforts to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, it is necessary to adapt to the changing environment,” said the first official. The government’s policy of faster adoption and manufacturing of hybrid & EV (FAME) I & II (to promote manufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicles) has boosted infrastructure development for sustaining the EV ecosystem in the country, the officials said.

The army has already started using EVs as part of civil hired transport apart from operating its own vehicles, they said.The army hires civil vehicles to meet its requirements

“This is a good example of the whole of society approach needed to address climate change. Electric vehicle fleets powered by renewable energy can moderate the growth of transport sector emissions,” said Ulka Kelkar, director, climate program, World Resources Institute (WRI) India.

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