The Indian state of Maharashtra is embracing electric mobility as the next step in sustainable transport, through leasing out electric vehicles and installing chargers in state government offices.
UN Environment today signed a funding agreement with the Government of Maharashtra and Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a company facilitating energy efficiency projects under India’s Ministry of Power. The electric cars are being provided by Mahindra and Mahindra.
Electric vehicles use energy stored in its rechargeable batteries, which are recharged by common household electricity. As a burgeoning economy leads to a rapid increase in the number of personal vehicles on the road, a shift to electric mobility is instrumental in the push towards sustainable communities.
Marking the commencement of e-mobility era in the state, Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis flagged off the first set of 10 EVs at the Gateway of India in Mumbai.
“Today, Maharashtra embarks on the path of e-mobility marking an important milestone in its trajectory of growth,” Fadnavis said. “Through this MoU with EESL, we are ushering in an era of clean, green and future-oriented technologies in the state. The EV programme will enable sustainable transport and further enhance our state’s stature as a favoured economic destination.”
The Government of Maharashtra took the opportunity to announce its Electric Vehicle and Related Infrastructure Policy, aiming to establish the state as a globally competitive destination for electric vehicles and component manufacturing. The policy also entails increasing the number of registered EVs in the state to 500,000 and the creation of 100,000 jobs.
“E-mobility is the future of our cities, said Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment. “Maharashtra’s leadership in promoting electric vehicles is a big step towards cities that can breathe, and where innovation thrives!”
The launch of the e-mobility program coincides with the national countdown to World Environment Day. As the global host of World Environment Day 2018, India is inspiring communities across the country to take bold action aimed at beating pollution. The launch of the electric vehicles will reduce emissions from traffic across the state and create an increased awareness of the advantages of electric vehicles.
Earlier this year, the Government of India launched the National E-Mobility Programme to provide an impetus to the entire e-mobility ecosystem including vehicle manufacturers, charging infrastructure companies, fleet operators, and service providers,
EESL is procuring electric vehicles to replace the existing fleet of petrol and diesel vehicles of the Central and State Governments through Mahindra and Mahindra.
“It is our endeavour to contribute to the Indian Government’s e-mobility mission,” said Saurabh Kumar, Managing Director of EESL. “Maharashtra is among the top contributors to the Indian economy and its transition to e-mobility will have a positive effect on national goals related to climate and sustainable growth.”
The partners will also flag off self-drive e-car rental start-up Zoomcar India Pvt. Ltd which aims to expand e-vehicles use in the state also with Mahindra and Mahindra.
Mr. Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group said “I’m a big believer that the future lies in sustainable and shared mobility. Today, we’ve taken another step in this direction with our deployment of Mahindra electric vehicles with Zoomcar and the Govt. of Maharashtra. I’m excited about the pioneering role in electric mobility that the state of Maharashtra is poised to take.”
EESL plans to drive down costs through its innovative business model while supporting local manufacturing facilities, gaining technical competencies for the long-term growth of the EV industry and enabling Indian EV manufacturers to emerge as major global players.