Devandra Fadnavis, honorable chief minister of Maharashtra inaugurated on Friday the first multi-modal electric vehicle project in India which will be operated by the ride-hailing company Ola in Nagpur. This was done in lieu of celebration of the 3rd anniversary of Narendra Modi government. Chief minister Devandra Fadnavis told the media during the inauguration ceremony that “We are extremely proud of the commitment corporations like Mahindra, Ola and others are working towards building sustainable transportation for all”.
This pilot project was launched with a fleet of 200 electric powered vehicles which the people of Nagpur can book and ride through Ola App. Mahindra and Mahindra group’s new e20 Plus electric hatchbacks occupied 50% of the fleet while remaining 50% of the fleet were occupied by Kinetic Safar, e-rickshaws manufactured by Green Energy and Power Solutions. There will be additional vehicles added to the fleet in future which will be purchased from other vendors like TVS, Tata Motors, BYD and others.
Cab Aggregator service Ola and Mahindra, one of the leading utility vehicle manufacturers have partnered with the Indian government to build this first electric mass mobility ecosystem in the country. Also, Ola has built multiple charging stations in Nagpur to power the entire fleet of 200 e-vehicles including one Charging station at the Nagpur Airport which was unveiled by Fadnavis on May 26th.
Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for road transport and highways has been instrumental in launching this Electric transport system by making necessary amendments to the transport laws in order to facilities the entry of electric vehicles for public transport in Delhi and Nagpur. He stated that Indian automobile companies should aim to manufacture electric vehicles on a large scale for use in public transport and also for exports.
Gadkari told the press that future belongs to vehicles powered by solar power, electricity, ethanol, and bio-fuel and liquefied natural gas. India is importing more than 4 trillion rupees worth of crude oil which is like exporting our money. He added, “Import-substituting, cost-effective, pollution-free and indigenous means of mass public transport is the way forward to bring down India’s dependence on imported crude oil”. Mahindra and Mahindra Group’s managing director Pawan Goenka stated that their company will make the necessary investments to help India change into an electric vehicle nation by 2032. Mahindra has already more than 2,700 e-vehicles running across India which cover more than 14 million kilometres every day.
In order to support this initiative of moving towards electric vehicles for public transport, the Maharashtra government has waived off road tax, VAT and registration fees for all electric vehicles in that state.