The state of Maharashtra is determined to take the lead when it comes to electric vehicles in the country and over the next five years, wants to increase the rate of adoption for such vehicles significantly. With several key automakers having manufacturing plants here, the ambitions of a battery-powered future may have some credible weight.
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State transport secretary Ashish Kumar Singh, speaking at a virtual townhall recently, explained that Maharashtra has the potential to be the top EV-producing state in India and that a committee has been established which would re-draft the current EV policy here. "We are in the final stage of drafting the policy. The transport department has already consulted stakeholders, but we are still open to suggestions from the public," he said.
According to state transport commissioner Avinash Dhakane, the Mahrashtra government is looking at major cities like Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Nashik and Aurangabad to hit 25% electrification mark of its intra-city public transport and last-mile delivery vehicles by the year 2025. With a current fleet of 15,000, it is also expected that at least 15% of these intercity buses of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation would be powered by batteries.
The year 2025, therefore, is crucial and the officials claim that work is also planned to make key highways like Mumbai Nagpur Expressway and Mumbai Pune Expressway ready to support electric vehicles.
It has been noted that at present, there are around 32,000 electric vehicles across segments in the state.
India's EV surge is expected to come mainly from two and three-wheelers but there could be some push coming in from the passenger vehicles' segment as well. For now, options in the electric car market are limited and rather expensive. Luxury brands like Mercedes and Jaguar Land Rover have launched respective products while Volvo and Audi are readying their respective offerings. Many experts believe, however, that it is only when mass-market players bring in more affordable offerings that the EV momentum will truly gain pace.
(With inputs from PTI)