‘Electric vehicles likely to take commercial route first’

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on July 27, 2018 Published on July 27, 2018

Even as the government aims to promote electric vehicles (EVs) in the country, initially it will not be private vehicles, but commercial vehicles that will driveEV mobility in the country, according to a top official of Ashok Leyland.

Considering the costs and the hesitation among individual users, initially commercial vehicles will drive growth of EVs in the country, said Karthick Athmanathan, Head - EV & eMobility Solutions, Ashok Leyland, on the sidelines of a one-day e-mobility conference by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Ahmedabad on Friday.

Ahmedabad plan

The company is in the process of delivering 50 electric buses for the Ahmedabad Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) by April 2019. “Ahmedabad will become second place after Gutenberg in Europe to have flash charging electric buses. The first lot of buses will start running in January 2019. We will run 40 buses in the subsequent three months i.e. by April 2019. The last 10 buses will be deployed later on so that we can explore technology options available to us,” he said.

The company is also setting up charging infrastructure along the BRTS route. The air-conditioned buses will be manufactured at the company’s Chennai facility.

The Government of India had launched FAME — Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles programme in March 2015, under which it had sanctioned ₹437 crore for the procurement of 390 electric buses for 11 major cities. Ashok Leyland bid for Ahmedabad BRTS project, and was awarded the contract.

CII meet

The CII conference was designed to sensitise all stakeholders on clean energy and e-mobility solutions and create necessary enablers to shift from conventional transportation to clean and convenient e-mobility solutions.

Emerging smart cities such as Dholera will boost the usage of electric vehicles as such cities are planned for cleaner and greener ways for transport, said Jai Prakash Shivahare, MD, Dholera Industrial City Development Ltd.

CII is preparing a white paper for the EV sector ahead of the formulation of a policy by the State government on electric vehicles.

Published on July 27, 2018
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