Sunday, March 26

Central, state budget push for green vehicles

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Electric vehicles got the thumbs up from both the Centre and the state on Friday. The Centre during the Union Budget approved an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore for three years to encourage people to buy electric vehicles and also promised to develop the charging infrastructure—one station every 3km —across the country. The Bengal government has also decided to allow owners of private electric cars to charge their vehicles at the stations set up by the transport department.

The incentives, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitaraman in her Budget speech, said would be applicable for only advanced battery and registered e-vehicles. “Greater emphasis will be on providing affordable and environment friendly public transportation options for the common man,” she said.

At the state assembly, state transport minister Suvendu Adhikari said, “We are encouraging people to use e-cars to curb vehicular pollution. We have set up 55 charging stations in the state. Electric car owners can charge their vehicles at these stations by paying only the electricity bill.” Apart from setting up more charging stations, Adhikari said the government had already introduced 40 electric buses in the city and would launch another 40 in a month.

The minister said his department, in consultation with the state pollution control board, was taking steps to check vehicular pollution. “Three mobile checking points have been set up in the city to inspect vehicles’ pollution levels. In March, the transport department, in association with the state police traffic department, banned the entry of commercial vehicles above 15 years in the Kolkata Metropolitan Area (KMA),” he said.

The Centre wants to achieve 30% e-mobility by 2030 through government’s Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India) scheme, which has been slow to take off with auto-makers. Under FAME II, the government proposed to invest Rs 10,000 Cr ($1.4 Bn) over three years to support 10 lakh two-wheelers, 5 lakh three-wheelers, 55,000 four-wheelers, and 7,000 buses that operate on lithium-ion batteries or other electric power-trains. It also assured to deploy 5,000 electric buses.


Source: Times of India

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