With German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday pledging to invest 1 billion euros over next five years on environmentally friendly urban mobility in India, the Central government is planning to use a major part of the fund to increase the number of charging points for electric vehicles across the country and to replace diesel buses with electric buses.
“Many auto companies have shown enthusiasm over the electric mobility plan of the government. However, electric charging points are a challenge. We will use the fund to set up EV charging stations and to replace diesel buses with electric ones,” said senior official from the Ministry of Heavy Industries.
Merkel, whose visit to the country coincided with a bout of smog in Delhi-NCR, had pressed on the need to replace diesel-run public transport with electric vehicles. She had also visited an EV charging station at Dwarka in West Delhi.
“We have agreed to co-operate on climate protection and green urban mobility and have earmarked 1 billion euros towards this,” Merkel said at an event here.
Germany had additionally announced to put in 200 million euros to reform the bus sector in Tamil Nadu, Merkel said, adding that looking at the severity of the pollution situation in Delhi, it would be a good idea to replace diesel buses with electric ones.
Since December 2018, the government is working on setting up charging stations, in its push for 30 per cent electric vehicle and green mobility by 2030. However, the progress was slow and with just 700-odd charging stations in the country, the Government of India has approved amendments in the electric vehicle charging guidelines and specifications.
Tata Power is also planning to set up an expansive network of electric vehicle charging stations across India. At present, the company is said to have 85 charging stations spread across 15 Indian cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Indore, Vijayawada and Hosur.
On Wednesday, even State-owned National Thermal Power Corporation said that it is working on electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The company had already signed pacts with cab aggregators Ola, Lithium, Shuttl, Bikxie, Bounce, Electrie and Zoom Car for creation of public charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.