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Eye on future, clean mobility, 20 e-sedans to soon ply on Ludhiana-Jalandhar route

The proposed project is a joint initiative of Punjab government, World Economic Forum and Mahindra & Mahindra subsidiary Smart Sustainable Mobility Solutions that has been running several electric mobility pilots across the country.

Written by Navjeevan Gopal | Chandigarh |
February 23, 2020 3:54:46 am
Punjab clean mobility, electric sedans Punjab, electric sedans on Ludhiana-Jalandhar route, chandigarh news, punjab news, indian express news Delhi had carried out e-bus trials in2018. (Express Archive)

Seeking to offer clean mobility, a pilot project to run 20 electric sedans on Ludhiana-Jalandhar route is on the anvil in Punjab.

The proposed project is a joint initiative of Punjab government, World Economic Forum and Mahindra & Mahindra subsidiary Smart Sustainable Mobility Solutions that has been running several electric mobility pilots across the country, partnering with states, cities and corporates.

Initially, three corridors – Ludhiana-Jalandhar, Chandigarh-Patiala and Chandigarh-Ludhiana – were identified for the proposed inter-city electric sedan shuttle.

“Based on the market analysis, feedback from existing fleet managers and operating economics of electric cars, it is proposed to start with ‘Ludhiana-Jalandhar’ as the first stage of implementation. In Phase-I of this pilot, 20 electric sedans will be operational on the route providing mobility services to commuters. Based on the demand response, the vehicle fleet will be enhanced,” reads the proposal by M&M.

Though M&M had planned to roll out the pilot early March, but a government functionary said further discussions were underway on a few clauses of the proposal and the project may not take off as envisaged earlier.

Sources said one of the clauses over which Punjab has reservations is capital subsidy of Rs one lakh to fleet managers or owners of electric vehicles for commercial mobility by the state government. The proposal, while saying that Punjab government may consider a similar approach, pointed out that states like Maharashtra and Delhi are providing additional state capital subsidy of Rs one lakh to fleet managers or owners of electric vehicles for commercial mobility, over Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (Phase-II) incentives.

“The Punjab government has reservations on this clause and further discussions are on,” said a functionary.

The proposal noted that as per Punjab Electric Vehicle Policy, 2019, there was 100 per cent waiver on permit fee and motor vehicle tax and government will help in registration and promotion of electric lithium ion-based cars in the state.

The proposal also wanted Punjab government to allocate few land parcels as “Green Mobility Centres’ for setting up charging stations for the sedans. The functionary said government has offered that the charging stations may be set up at existing bus stations and M&M has been asked to get in touch with authorities at local bus stands.

These locations will also act as pick-up/drop-off points for the commuters, as per the proposal.

The proposal also wants Punjab government to approve a special power tariff for charging, to promote adoption of electric vehicles.

The proposal said electricity tariffs have been given further subvention in cities like Thane, where the municipal corporation was bearing the cost differential to provide electricity at Re 1 per kWh for city sponsored charging stations. It said government entities like Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) or power discoms can operate charging stations and the subsidies will reduce the cost of operation for the drivers and fleet managers. “The Government of Punjab can also consider providing some or all of these subventions under the Smart City budgets of the proposed towns including Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Patiala,” says the proposal.

As per the proposal, World Economic Forum, which has partnered with Punjab government to facilitate the deployment of such pilots in the state, would provide guidance for structuring the pilot and will also disseminate the success of the proposed pilot to a larger global audience, creating a positive impact for growing mobility services market in India and opportunities in Punjab.

M&M, apart from providing electric vehicles and service support and teaching fleet managers on managing and maintaining electric cars and mobility operations, will also provide a technology platform which will help citizens reserve full vehicle or one seat and will help drivers connect with citizens, book charging station, online payment.

Another potential pilot intra-city electric three-wheelers has also been identified.

“Punjab intends to start few e-Mobility pilots, including inter-city with deployment of electric sedans and intra-city through electric 3-wheelers. Currently these operations are dominated by diesel, gasoline and CNG vehicles,” the proposal points out.

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