Delhi Metro in partnership with Treasure Vase Ventures has launched 500 electric rickshaws (e-rickshaws) at Huda City Centre metro station in Gurugram (Gurgaon) on September, 4, 2017. The first batch of the 1,000 e-rickshaw fleet will be operated from all five Metro stations (Guru Dronacharya, Sikanderpur, M.G.Road, IFFCO Chowk, HUDA City Centre) falling in Gurugram under the ‘SmartE’ brand. By end of the year, another fleet of 500 e-rickshaws will cover all 14 Metro stations falling in Gurugram and Faridabad.
The e-rickshaws with covered cabin and full front windscreen will provide last mile connectivity within an area of 3-4 kms around Metro stations and will be enabled with CCTV and GPS facility. The fares for these SmartE rides will cost Rs 10 for the first 2 km and Rs 5 for every subsequent km, future plans include enabling payment through Metro Smart Cards.
Nitin Gadkari, minister for road transport and highways, shipping and water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation, flagged of the first batch of 1,000 e-rickshaws. Commenting on the launch Gadkari, said, “The E-rickshaw fleet will not only provide cost effective and pollution free substitute in transport system of Gurugram, but will also generate employment opportunities for the marginalised youth.”
He added further that electric public transport is the necessity of the country and his ministry is committed to providing it soon. The e-rickshaws have been manufactured in India and are fitted with GPS and tracking system.
SmartE established strategic partnerships with the Haryana government (HSIIDC) and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to launch 1,000 vehicles in Gurugram and Faridabad in 2017. The partnership aims to provide self-employment for over 1,00,000 marginalised youths, in next 4-5 years.
In May, 2017 the government’s premier policy think-tank NITI Aayog released a report that was jointly produced between the think-tank and Rock Mountain Institute titled ‘India Leaps Ahead: Transformative Mobility Solution’, laying the vision for achieving a fleet of all electric vehicle in India by 2030. The government and its ministries have been rolling out pilot projects throughout the country aiming to accelerate adoption of EVs in the country.
Earlier this year, state-owned National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) set-up it’s first charging station at the company’s premise in Delhi and Noida. While Bengaluru, has 25 charging stations under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicle in India (FAME) scheme. In another instance Energy Efficiency Service Ltd (EESL), a joint venture company of PSUs of the Ministry of Power, government of India, floated a tender to procure 10,000 electric cars and 4,000 chargers for the coal, mines, power and new and renewable energy ministries as well as for providing them on hire to other government departments.
Even though the intent of the government to push towards adoption of EVs has been mentioned several times, demand for EVs due to comparative higher-costs and lack of charging stations and infrastructure has been lukewarm.