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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Mumbai: BMC planning to procure electric vehicles to replace its fleet

In the first phase, the civic body plans to procure about 100 vehicles for official purposes and transportation of garbage by the Solid Waste Management (SWM) department.

Written by Laxman Singh | Mumbai |
July 28, 2021 11:00:50 pm
Mumbai news, Mumbai city news, Mumbai BMC buses, electric buses Mumbai, indian express news Garbage vans, official cars first to go

Days after the state government rolled out its new Electric Vehicle Policy, the Shiv Sena-led Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has planned to procure electric vehicles (EVs) to replace its current automobile fleet that runs on fossil fuel. In the first phase, the civic body plans to procure about 100 vehicles for official purposes and transportation of garbage by the Solid Waste Management (SWM) department.

On July 13, state Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray introduced the Maharashtra Electric Vehicles (EVs) Policy under which the government seeks to encourage the use of battery-operated vehicles to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. To transition to electric the state has also provided exemption in road tax, registration charges, and property tax.

Electric cars have been shown to reduce 50 to 60 per cent of CO2 emissions, which is a key to tackle global warming.

Sunil Godse, the Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Environment), told The Indian Express, “Our aim is to first procure a few battery-operated vehicles for official purpose and garbage transportation. By early next year, we will be able to include these EVs in our fleet. We will increase the number of electric vehicles in phases. Although electric cars are easily available, manufacturing of battery-operated heavy vehicles is still a challenge.”

According to the officials, by early next year, the civic body aims to introduce EVs for civic heads of departments who are entitled to official cars for travelling to work from BMC and tempos for transportation of garbage.

The BMC, Godse said, is also exploring locations on municipal properties where charging points for these EVs can be installed. In the first phase, the civic body is trying to set 35 charging points, which will be later increased to 100. Civic officials said they were also planning to install solar energy plants instead of conventional energy for charging points.

According to the BMC data, there are currently about 200 cars used for official purposes, including head of departments, ward officers, deputy municipal commissioners, IAS officers and committee chairpersons. Apart from these, there are also about 1,600 vehicles used daily for garbage transportation in the SWM department to dumping grounds. Vehicles currently used by the other civic departments run on diesel and petrol.

In May, the civic body had ordered to hire five electric vehicles for committee chairpersons on rent for the next eight years. These vehicles are expected to be delivered by August.

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