Delhi to Fight Toxic Air with 1,000 Electric Buses

The Delhi government has released its draft Delhi Electric Vehicle Policy 2018 to improve Delhi’s air quality by bringing down the emissions from transport sector.

With this policy, the government hopes that 25 percent of all new vehicle registrations by 2023 will be Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs). The policy also supports the creation of jobs in driving, selling, financing, servicing and charging of EVs.

This policy will apply to Battery Electric Vehicles as defined in Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME).  Mild Hybrid, Strong Hybrid, and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles are excluded in the policy.

The policy recognises that two-thirds of new vehicle registrations in Delhi comprises of two wheelers and consumers need to be incentivised to purchase and use electric two wheelers. Another focus area of the government is to support the electrification of public transport. This is because the highest proportion of passenger-kilometres travelled are through public transport vehicles (buses, auto rickshaws, and cabs).

The government will offer incentives to operators of private buses of all sizes to ensure that battery electric vehicles make up least 50 percent of the entire public transport system in Delhi by 2023, starting with the induction of 1,000 electric buses in 2019.

The government understands that availability of charging infrastructure is important for the success of EV adoption. Therefore, the policy encourages the building of charging infrastructure, both public and private. Providing accessible public charging facilities within 3 km distance from anywhere in Delhi is the key objective of this policy. The city will be divided into 11 ‘travel districts’ mapping onto existing revenue districts. ‘Energy Operators’ (EOs) will be invited to set up charging stations in each of the travel districts.

Recognizing that most EV users will use home and workplace charging points for their core charging needs, changes will be made in building bye-laws  and all existing residential building owners, Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs) and Co-op Group Housing Societies with demarcated parking area of more than 10 equivalent car spaces (ECS) will be encouraged to install one EV AC charger for every three ECS. The government will provide a grant of 100 percent for the purchase and installation of these charging points up to ₹30,000 ($425)  for the first 10,000 that are installed. Grants will be available only for chargers that are either single phase or three phase input but comply with all other BEVC-AC001 specifications.

The government will also invite bids from battery manufacturers and others interested in setting up a battery swapping business.

Department of Transport will be the nodal department for the implementation of Delhi State EV Policy and a dedicated EV cell shall be established within the Transport Department for effective day-to-day implementation of the Delhi State EV Policy.

In July 2018, Delhi government had approved the hiring of a consultant to run 1,000 electric buses.

In its budget for the financial year (FY) for 2018-19, the Delhi government had announced that 1,000 electric buses will soon be introduced in the national capital. Moreover, the budget had a provision for 905 electric vehicles to facilitate last mile connectivity from metro stations. The Delhi government also aims to boost E-rickshaws in the city through the expansion of eligibility criteria for subsidy.

Recently, Mercom reported that electric vehicle sales so far has been inconsistent under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles (FAME) program. While some states have made good progress, many states are well behind in EV adoption.

Nitin is a staff reporter at Mercomindia.com and writes on renewable energy and related sectors. Prior to Mercom, Nitin has worked for CNN IBN, India News, Agricultural Spectrum and Bureaucracy Today. He received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Communication from Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University and Master’s degree in International Relations from Jindal School of International Affairs. More articles from Nitin Kabeer