Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal today flagged off the government’s campaign to aggressively drive adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the national capital.
Christened the ‘Switch Delhi’ campaign, the initiative focuses on spreading awareness about the benefits of EVs, particularly zero tail-pipe emissions, as well as encouraging citizens to increasingly opt for these eco-friendly vehicles by availing the government’s incentives under the Delhi EV Policy which was introduced in August 2020.
According to Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi EV Policy, which sets an ambitious target of achieving one-fourth of all new vehicle sales or 500,000 EVs in the State by 2024, is receiving global acclaim for being one of the best EV policies in the world. The CM said the city has seen close to 6,000 new EVs being added on its roads since the announcement of the policy last year.
Now, the chief minister has appealed to citizens to be a part of the Switch Delhi campaign and take a pledge to buy an EV as their next set of wheels.
“I appeal to all RWAs and market associations to spread awareness about this campaign and I also appeal to all delivery fleets as well as big corporates to switch their entire fleets electric. I urge these big companies, malls, commercial shopping complexes, and cinema halls to instal charging points in their parking lots,” the CM said in a video address.
“I also appeal to all last-mile delivery fleets as well as big corporates to switch their fleets to EVs and to these companies, malls, commercial shopping complexes, and cinema halls to install charging points in their parking lots,” he added.
Government to buy only EVs
The Delhi chief minister also said that the Delhi government is also going to play its part in this initiative and has decided to only procure electric vehicles in the government fleet over the next six months. “We would completely switch to EVs,” Kejriwal confirmed.
Kejriwal also updated that preparations to install 100 charging stations across Delhi have begun and the government has started rolling out tenders.
“We have to take this policy at a larger level and have to make it a public initiative by understanding our responsibility towards reducing our individual carbon footprint. I also urge the youth to buy only electric as their first vehicle purchase in life,” Kejriwal said in his message.
Incentives on 150 EV models
The Delhi EV Policy, which accords benefits of up to Rs 150,000 alongside the waiver on road tax and registration fee on new EVs being registered in the State, is designed to accelerate the national capital’s EV momentum and cut down on vehicular pollution. Delhi, as is well known, is one of India's most polluted cities.
As per the government, the subsidy is applicable on a total of 150 EV models available in the market, across the two-wheeler, three-wheeler and four-wheeler segments.
During the rollout of the policy in August last year, the CM had said: “EVs are very expensive today and are out of reach of the common man. Therefore, to ensure that majority of people are able to buy them, we are announcing various incentives.”
The segment-wise incentives under the Delhi EV Policy are:
- Electric two-wheelers: Up to Rs 30,000 incentive from the State government
- Electric passenger vehicles: Up to Rs 150,000
- Auto-rickshaws – up to Rs 30,000
- E-rickshaws – Up to Rs 30,000
- E-goods carriers – Up to Rs 30,000
EV Industry welcomes SwitchDelhi campaign
Understandably, EV industry stakeholders are lauding the Delhi chief minister’s initiative and the SwitchDelhi campaign.
Chetan Maini, co-founder and vice-chairman of SUN Mobility, tweeted: “Kudos to Hon Delhi CM @ArvindKejriwal for announcing #SwitchDelhi – a campaign that can set a precedent for all cities to accelerate mass #EV adoption for a pollution-free future! @SUN_mobility’s vision is 100% aligned & we look forward to collaborating to make e-mobility take off.”
Jeetender Sharma, MD and founder, Okinawa Autotech, said: "We are glad to see the Delhi government's continued commitment towards making Delhi the EV capital. Switching to EVs is the environmentally positive change that individuals and businesses aim to pledge today. Therefore, we are certain that this mass awareness campaign would provide the much-required impetus to accelerate the adoption of EVs in the national capital. The government is doing a commendable job in nurturing a supportive ecosystem and awareness amongst individuals and businesses will only ensure deeper penetration of EVs and in turn revolutionise mobility. As an OEM, Okinawa is geared up to meet the mushrooming demand with an extensive line-up of products backed by one of the widest distribution networks in the country."
Dr. Yogesh Bhatia, Founder, Detel, said: "We appreciate the Delhi government' s move to urge EV adoption and its contribution towards the fight against pollution in Delhi. The future of the EV industry looks promising as the need for environment-friendly and cost-effective personal mobility increases. Delhi government's focus on e-mobility as a sustainable solution to address climate change will definitely bear fruit in the forthcoming years".