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Mumbaiites, you may soon see battery-run vehicles as black-and-yellow cabs 

The battery-powered vehicles will be registered as e-taxis

mumbai Updated: Aug 17, 2017 01:56 IST
Kailash Korde
Kailash Korde
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,black-and-yellow cabs,battery-run vehicles

Decks have been cleared for the use of battery-powered electric vehicles as black-and-yellow cabs or tourist cabs in the state.

The State Transport Authority (STA), chaired by transport secretary Manoj Saunik, has given its nod to register the battery operated cars as metered taxis, tourist taxis, luxury taxis and jeep taxis, giving them status of public service vehicles. The STA has taken this decision in its recent meeting following a state government move to give a push to use of electric vehicle as cabs. The battery-powered vehicles will be registered as e-taxis. The decision also states that these vehicles should have power equivalent to 980 cc or more.

HT had reported on July 20 that the state had decided to allow battery-operated vehicles to ply as conventional cabs by adding a condition — the permit holders could bring electric taxis or auto rickshaws on city roads in MMR — in the new terms and conditions issued by the government on July 18, 2017, for recently de-freezed taxi and auto rickshaw permits from June 17, 2017. The STA decision is the follow-up of the same with the authorities giving its nod for technical specifications of the vehicles that can be used as cabs.

Besides, Maharashtra government has already asked the four-member Khatua panel that appointed for deciding fare for black and yellow taxis and autos, along with app based taxis, to fix the fare for electric taxis as well.

In May, the authority had come up with similar decision allowing the battery powered vehicles to be registered only as app based taxis of aggregators like Ola and Uber. This time, however, it has given nod for registering battery powered vehicle as any type of cab.

Zero-emission electric vehicles will reduce noise and air pollution to a large extent. Currently, the state has about 80,000 metered taxis, besides 2.26 lakh tourist cabs and luxury cabs. Most metered cabs run on low-emission Compressed Natural Gas or Liquefied Petroleum Gas fuel.

Taxi industry sources, however, said that the price of the electric taxis is still very high as compared to electric auto rickshaws and hence, the cabbies might not prefer to bring those on roads, as it won’t financially viable for them. As of now only two electric cars offered by one manufacturer are available in Indian market.

A senior official from transport department said that their department likely to issue new rules for battery powered e-taxis as there is some issues with written interpretation of STA resolution. Taxi union say that they are ready to run battery powered taxis, if the state government provides them at least two vehicles free, for testing at least for a year. “Why any taxi driver will invest in battery powered taxis as there is no infrastructure available in the city,” said AL Quadros, taxi union leader.

First Published: Aug 17, 2017 01:56 IST