Yesterday on June 26, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot announced the Delhi Government’s ‘Discover Electric Delhi’ pilot, under which up to 1K electric vehicles for delivery will be deployed in the city over the next one year.
As part of this pilot, over 30 urban delivery companies will be transitioning to electric vehicles. Further, the working group of this pilot will include a mix of various industries including online delivery companies, vehicle aggregators, logistics firms, charge station providers, and power distributors.
Some notable participants include Amazon, Flipkart, Grofers, Bigbasket, Zomato, UberEats, DOT, Blue Dart Express, Hero Electric, Tata Motors, Tork Motors, and Mahindra Electric, Delta Group, Sun Mobility, BSES Rajdhani Power, and Tata Power among others.
“EVs are the future. It’s time to bring the future into the present. To make life better for the common man, we need to ensure that the cost of electric vehicles becomes less than petrol and diesel vehicles,” said Gahlot.
“We envision to make Delhi EV capital by adopting fully electric public transportation and private companies’ commercial operations by 2023 to achieve 25% EV target,” he added
This announcement was made at the Urban Mobility Lab event organised yesterday by an American organisation Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and Delhi Transport Department.
Even before the Delhi government’s pilot, many companies have started using electric vehicles in their delivery fleets including food delivery unicorns Zomato and Swiggy, ecommerce giants Walmart and Amazon, grocery delivery company Grofers, courier delivery Blue Dart, DHL, spectacles ecommerce startup Lenskart, and fast food brand McDonald’s, among others.
Delhi Govt’s EV Efforts
Earlier in May, Delhi government was reported to be planning incentives for use of electric vehicles for delivery. The incentives were said to be included in the Delhi government’s electric vehicle policy, a draft of which was released in late 2018 to seek public and concerned departments’ comments. The draft policy had aimed to make 25% of all vehicles electric by 2023.
In its 2019-20 budget, the government had allocated INR 100 Cr to its state electric vehicle fund along with an outlay of INR 1,807 Cr to aid the implementation of transport department’s various schemes, programmes and projects. The state government also earmarked INR 50 Cr from the fund of environment compensation charge for the state electric vehicle fund.
Last month, Delhi cabinet had also approved a proposal to deploy 1,000 low-floor electric buses in the state to curb increasing air pollution levels in the capital. According to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi became the first Indian city to have such a large number of electric buses thanks to this move.
As Delhi earned the unenviable tag of being the most polluted capital in the world, and air quality touched hazardous levels of PM2.5 particles, India has become an obvious hotbed for green fuel innovations such as EVs or renewable power.
India’s central government had also set up a National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) in 2013 to have at least 30% electric vehicles among all vehicles on the road by 2030.