Thursday, January 27

Green fuel to power entire city public vehicle fleet by 2030

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The city’s entire public transport will run on clean fuel — electricity, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) — by 2030, said state’s transport minister Firhad Hakim on Wednesday. By public transport, he meant the bus fleet — both private and state transport undertakings (STUs), taxis and autos. This is certainly an ambitious departure from his earlier stance, when he set a 2030 target for the entire STU fleet to be EV only.
Hakim was speaking at a panel discussion on accelerating electric mobility with green jobs and gender parity organised by Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry. While detailing the success story of e-vehicles in public transport, Hakim said, “100 electric buses are plying in the city. STUs will be acquiring 1,000 more e-buses shortly, besides the only surviving tram network which has been operational since 1880. Also, 300 STU diesel buses are being converted into dedicated CNG buses.”
The possibility of CNG supply through a pipeline has gained momentum after intervention of the National Green Tribunal. “We will also convert the entire fleet of private buses to dedicated CNG buses in a phased manner.”

Significantly, the state is actively thinking of giving financial aid for facilitating the shift from diesel to CNG. The promised shift will do enormous good to the city’s environment, as well to India’s commitment to keep global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial level and to secure net-zero emission by 2050. The state has set an ambitious target to be among the top three best states in India in terms of electric mobility penetration by 2030.

Director general of International Solar Alliance Ajay Mathur appreciated the state’s ambitious move towards cleaner fuel and said, “Adoption of electric vehicles will generate jobs double that of IC engine vehicle manufacturing and it will facilitate higher mobility of women.”
The Bengal government in its EV policy targeted 10 lakh EVs combined across all segments by 2030 with 1 lakh charging stations. In the EV policy, Kolkata, Asansol, Darjeeling and Howrah have already been declared model EM cities with phase-wise goals to adopt EV charging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure and new EV-enabling building codes, where at 20% parking must be earmarked for EVs. The policy declared the intercity electrification of green routes with a target to promote intercity electric mobility penetration for Kolkata-Asansol and Kolkata-Digha routes. Rapid chargers will be deployed at an average distance of 25km, catering to electric buses and heavy-duty vehicles.

Source: Times of India

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