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India’s first fleet of 200 electric vehicles launched in Nagpur
Nagpur, May 27, 2017
Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis launched India's first multi-modal electric vehicle project at the Nagpur Airport Complex here yesterday.
The project brings together e-buses, e-cabs, e-rickshaws and e-autos on a single platform, the Ola App, which will enable commuters in Nagpur to book them.
The fleet of 200 vehicles consists of 100 of Mahindra’s new e20 Plus vehicles, besides those from other manufacturers like Tata Motors, Kinetic and TVS.
Mr. Gadkari said it was the Government's vision to make India a 100 percent e-vehicle nation. He said his Ministry was prepared to facilitate manufacturers and other companies to take the Nagpur model to other parts of the country. He said e- vehicles need to be promoted in order to cut down the huge crude oil bill, reduce pollution and create cost effectiveness in transportation. To begin with, the emphasis would be on commercial vehicles and then on others.
The Minister said that growing demand, coupled with R&D would gradually help to bring down the operational costs, and especially the battery cost. He added that once the cost of batteries comes down, e-vehicles will compete with diesel and petrol vehicles and finally phase them out.
Mr. Gadkari and Mr. Fadnavis also unveiled Ola's electric charging station, situated within the airport complex. The installation is the first of its kind and will power the fleet. Ola has already invested upward of Rs. 50 crore towards EVs and charging infrastructure, starting with 50+ charging points across four locations in Nagpur.
With a clear focus to build a full fledged ecosystem around sustainable mobility, Ola will also invest in training and educating driver partners on maintenance and use of in-car technology along with its key OEM partners like Mahindra, a press release from the two companies said.
Mr. Fadnavis said that his government had, in support of the initiative, waived VAT, road tax and registration for all electric vehicles in the state and hoped Maharashtra would become a model state in this area.
Mr. Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO, Ola said, “India has the need as well as the potential to set a global example on electric adoption to power its mobility needs. We are excited about how this could transform the mobility experience for millions of citizens, unlock immense opportunity for driver partners and positively impact the environment and quality of life in our cities. The government has been extremely supportive towards kick-starting this initiative and we look forward to working with them and the various industry partners in building the electric vehicle ecosystem grounds up for India. We believe that Electric Mobility in a multi-modal format, will be key towards realizing our mission of building mobility for a billion Indians.”
Dr. Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. said, “As the pioneers of electric vehicles in India we are delighted to enable first sustainable shared mobility service in Nagpur, along with the Government of India and Ola. I would like to applaud the Government for its novel mission of accelerating large scale adoption of electric vehicles and Ola for making ‘Green mobility services’ accessible to the people of Nagpur. True to the spirit of ‘Make-in-India’, we shall lead this change in India along with the Government. This pilot will pave the wave for wider adoption of electric vehicles. I am confident that India will make a paradigm shift in lifestyles - towards smart mobility and smart cities that are driven by progressive Government policies.”
Sulajja Firodia Motwani, Founder & CEO of Kinetic Green Energy & Power Solutions Ltd., said, “As India's largest electric three wheeler maker, we are excited to be partnering in this initiative with Ola by supplying 100 of our superior e-rickshaws, Kinetic Safar in Phase 1. These e-rickshaws will play a key part in providing seamless e-mobility at Nagpur, especially for last mile connectivity and for affordable short distance travel. Kinetic Safar has superior safety features, better design and feature advanced lithium ion batteries. We are keen to bring our offerings to the city of Nagpur on the Ola platform.”