Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot urges city’s youth to drive the change by adopting electric vehicles.
As India is one of the fastest-growing nations, India’s automobile industry is growing at a rapid pace and slowly moving ahead in the electric vehicle (EV) industry. To eliminate pollution and reduce fuel consumption, the national capital is switching to EVs.
Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot urged the city’s youth to drive the change by adopting electric vehicles. On an earlier occasion, he had announced that Delhi would be turned into an EV capital in two years. But experts doubt it. So, the question arises: does Delhi have the infrastructure to support this change?
Anil Chikara (retired), Deputy Commissioner of the Transport Department of Delhi, told The Sunday Guardian, “We have adequate infrastructure, as it’s growing generally, like our need.” According to the number of EVs, Delhi has a certain amount of infrastructure, and it is gradually increasing over time and with the increasing number of EVs.” He added: “This time, only as many vehicles are coming out as our infrastructure can sustain. Unlike the era of CNG, with no infrastructure and lots of vehicles seen on the ground, this time, the government had done better.”
He further said that this time around, the government had run proper awareness campaigns, so this time only those people are buying private EVs who have proper parking and charging facilities of their own or in the neighbourhood.
All the government department officials and commissioners are given a duty in their zone to identify the place that will be suitable for a charging station and also to inform the surrounding people to construct a charging point if they have enough space. Anil Chikara said: “EVs will boost our economy tremendously, as it will reduce the amount of fuel that we import from other countries. Currently, we are importing approximately Rs 16 lakh crore of fuels, which will surely come down and reduce the expenditure of the government on fuels as well as our dependency on other countries, so we must boost our EV industry.”
Speaking on power supply, he said: “We have the potential to construct the power supply that this new infrastructure will need. We have the potential to ensure the 100% power supply that is needed by EV. Currently, we have 25% efficiency in solar power, and we have the potential to reach 100% power from solar energy individually. Currently, Delhi has 1919 charging stations, 2,452 charging points, and 232 battery swapping stations all around the city.”
Satish Upadhaya, New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) Vice Chairperson, said, “NDMC is committed to establishing world-class infrastructure for EVs in their zones under the National Electric Mobility Programme (NEMP). We have already installed 100 EV charging stations, and we are working to upgrade them as we have already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with three PSUs in its council meeting to expand public charging facilities for EVs.”
The Sunday Guardian also interacted with some people to know their thoughts about EVs. “My first car was a patrol one; my next will be an EV, for sure, because that is the most sustainable choice for mobility. Only EVs can reduce vehicular emissions that contribute to pollution and climate change,” said Aman Verma, a resident of Hauz, Khas. Another person said: “Everything is changing around us, so we have to also adapt to the change. We witnessed the shift from petrol and diesel to CNG, and now it’s time to shift to EVs. That’s why I bought an EV car.”
The Sunday Guardian also interacted with a few EV drivers to get their views on EVs. “It was a nice experience to drive the EV, as it is far better than other cars, cost-effective, and has no pollution,” said Vijay, a driver for an MNC company. Another driver, Devendar, said: “Although EVs are good while driving, I always wonder if the charge of my car ends what I will do, as charging points are not available everywhere, so it scares me every time I drive an EV. So, it will take time to be successful in Delhi.”
On the other hand, the Delhi government has made continuous efforts to make people shift towards EVs.
Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said, “We are now extending the EV Policy 2020 for six months, till the new policy is drafted and implemented.”