Nagpur: Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday inaugurated India’s first multi-modal electric vehicle project and Ola electric charging station in Nagpur to mark the third anniversary of the Narendra Modi government.
The pilot project envisages a fleet of 200 electric-powered public transport vehicles which would be run on cab aggregator Ola’s app platform in Nagpur.
Mahindra & Mahindra group’s Mahindra Electric has manufactured 100 e2o electric taxis while Kinetic Green Energy and Power Solutions has supplied 100 e-rickshaws, Kinetic Safar.
Fadnavis also unveiled an electric charging station built by Ola and located at the Nagpur airport. Ola has also built three other charging stations in Nagpur and these four stations together have 53 charging points that can power the entire fleet of 200 e-vehicles. Ola has plans to scale up operations in Nagpur.
Nagpur MP and Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari, who has been instrumental in getting amendments to the transport laws carried out to facilitate the entry of electric vehicles as a means of public transport in Nagpur and Delhi (e-rickshaws), said Indian automobile companies should aim to manufacture e-vehicles on a large scale and export them.
“The future belongs to vehicles powered by electricity, solar power, ethanol, liquified natural gas, and bio-fuel, and compressed natural gas. India imports crude oil worth more than Rs4 trillion which effectively means we are exporting our money. Import-substituting, pollution-free, cost-effective, and indigenous means of mass public transport is the way forward to bring down India’s dependence on imported crude," Gadkari said.
Pawan Goenka, managing director of Mahindra & Mahindra, said the automobile company would make the necessary investments to help India become an “electric vehicle nation" by 2032.
He recalled that the company started investing in e-vehicles a decade ago and launched the e2o in 2011, followed by a sedan and a cargo vehicle powered by electricity. Mahindra & Mahindra’s total investment in technology, products, and plants of e-vehicles was to the tune of Rs600 crore, Goenka said.
The company already has 2,700 e-vehicles running across India which clock around 14 million kms per day, he added. Goenka said India had the potential to become the top country in the manufacturing of e-vehicles.
Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO of Ola, said Ola had already invested Rs50 crore in the Nagpur initiative and planned to scale up the operations. Ola plans to invest $2 billion in e-vehicles in all cities of India and run one million electricity-powered vehicles on the Ola platform by 2020, he added.