How Delhi can become electric vehicle capital of India

To realize its dream to have clean, green and people-centric mobility solutions, Delhi may need to deploy nearly 35,000 electric and accessible passenger vehicles, at least 1,000 electric vehicles for last-mile connectivity and several hundred public charging and swapping stations in the next year, a first-of-its-kind report has stressed.

With one of the world’s largest CNG-propelled bus fleets and an expanded metro-rail network covering 373 kms, the Delhi government has now embarked on its next phase of journey – clean, shared and people-centric mobility solutions.

According to the report by the “Urban Mobility Lab, in addition to vehicles and hardware, other goals for the Delhi government include getting thousands of users on to digital ride-hailing and data-sharing platforms and ensuring that information related to routing, booking, and payment are accessible in multiple formats.

“The Urban Mobility Lab’ is a platform where we bring together government and private players to collaborate and help advance mobility solutions that have the hope of transforming the lives of citizens in the city, said Akshima Ghate, Principal, Rocky Mountain Institute.

To translate policy action into progress on the ground, the Delhi government, through the Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi (DDC), and non-profit Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) kicked off the “Urban Mobility Lab”, a platform that supports Indian cities in identifying, implementing, and scaling pilot projects and solutions that transform how people and goods move.

Mobility leaders from government and industry participated in the two-day workshop in the capital recently where electric and urban mobility were the two focal points.

A 10 system-level needs and proposed solutions were identified and elaborated at the workshop and each one represented an opportunity to amplify Delhi’s initiatives in electric and urban mobility.

“The participants aim to provide new products and services for a range of vehicle segments and use cases. They also aim to kick-start the development of Delhi’s public charging network,” said the report.

To support the objective of improving Delhi’s air quality, the draft EV policy by the Delhi government sets an ambitious target for Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) to make up 25 per cent of new vehicle registrations by 2023.

In a city with the highest number of registered vehicles in the country (more than 10 million) that is adding more than 2,000 vehicles every day, reducing vehicular emissions is a priority, the report stressed.

As part of its green budgeting initiative and efforts to reduce vehicular pollution, Delhi has initiated action to procure 1,000 fully electric buses.

The draft EV policy also highlights the “target of making 50 per cent of the public transport bus fleet zero-emission by 2023”.

“The plan of Delhi government is to create collaborations and provide manners and platforms like the Urban Mobility Lab through which we can constantly be in dialogue with all the stakeholders who are serious about implementing electric mobility solutions in Delhi, and partner and collaborate with them to ensure that Delhi becomes the electric vehicle capital of India,” elaborated Jasmine Shah, Vice Chairperson, DDC, which is a premier think-tank of the Delhi government.

Studies indicate that vehicle tailpipe emissions constitute nearly 30 per cent of particulate pollution in Delhi. In a city with the highest number of registered vehicles in the country (more than 10 million) that is adding more than 2,000 vehicles every day, reducing vehicular emissions is a priority, the report noted.

Delhi government and RMI are jointly developing a pilot project on the electrification of final-mile delivery vehicles in Delhi.

The electrification of goods-carrier vehicles used for short-haul deliveries is one of the key focus areas of the draft Delhi EV policy.

“The urban freight pilot aims to support the launch of 1,000 electric delivery vehicles in Delhi by January 2020,” said the report.

Although the “Urban Mobility Lab” workshop focused on Delhi and the proposed solutions are specific to the city, “the needs and insights are relevant to other states and cities”.

“As the capital city of potentially the second largest metropolitan area in the world, Delhi sends a signal to other cities, states and other nations,” said Clay Stranger, Principal, Rocky Mountain Institute.

The “Urban Mobility Lab” is led by RMI and was announced by NITI Aayog in November 2017.

Source: IANS