India in its switch towards greener mobility is witnessing one of its best momentums. Nitin Gadkari, India’s central minister for Road Transport, Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, in his push towards green mobility looks at replicating London Transport model.
“Public transport running on biofuel and electricity is the focus of the government as it would be environment friendly and cost effective” said Nitin Gadkari, while addressing the first edition of ‘Smart Mobility Conference’ organised by FICCI.
Gadkari mentioned that there is a lot of potential from the London Transport Model to enhance e-mobility in India and his ministry is engaging with them to scope out synergies in implementing the same model in various cities like Varanasi, Nagpur and Pune among others.
He added that India which is an electric-surplus and coal surplus nation can capitalise on this advantage to become an all-electric vehicle hub in the world. Having started the country’s first electric vehicles project in Nagpur, the Minister said that, at present, there were 200 electric taxis plying in Nagpur along with 200 charging stations that had been set-up. Additionally, a charging capacity for 10,000 EVs will be created in the city by next month. He mentioned that the government was planning to increase the number of e-taxis from 200 to 2000 in Nagpur. This increase in vehicle production will also reduce the cost of lithium-ion battery over time, which almost makes up for 40 percent of the total cost of an electric vehicle.
Emphasising the need of pollution-free methanol as fuel in vehicles, the Minister cited the example of Sweden, where an efficient system has been developed for substituting diesel by methanol as fuel. He added that, research in converting carbon dioxide to methanol is promising and can be a game changer for the economy.
He concluded that smart mobility solution in India will be driven by cost effective, indigenous, import substitute and pollution free electric vehicles.
Pankaj R Patel, president, FICCI and chairman and MD, Zydus Cadila - Cadila Healthcare, said: “New business models and disruptive technologies in the field of mobility are going to bring about a significant change in our daily lives through effective mobility management and our government’s efforts to embrace this future-oriented mobility ecosystem will go a long way in making our country the hub of smart mobility in the world.”
Earlier delivering the Special Address at the Inaugural, Dr. Amory Lovins, co-founder, chairman Emeritus and chief scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute, highlighted that shared, electric, and connected mobility is key to India’s transition to electric mobility. According to Dr. Lovins, signs indicate that the pace of India’s energy transformation could be astonishing: the nation singlehandedly reduced the cost of LEDs by 80 percent in one year, and the government of India has set its sights on an ambitious target of 100 percent electric vehicles by 2030.