Updated: June 17, 2021 9:50:11 am
The Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) strategy for early adoption of Electric Vehicles (EVs) by creating a readiness plan and establishing an EV fund has propelled Pune city to a spot among ‘50 champion cities’ representing the boldest urban innovations of the past year.
The city has advanced to the final stage of the 2021 Global Mayors Challenge, a worldwide competition that encourages and spreads most promising ideas by cities. The top 15 cities will win $ 1 million each as financial assistance to implement their breakthrough ideas and to spread the ideas to other cities around the world.
The announcement was made by Bloomberg Philanthropies on Tuesday for the competition that takes place once in three years. “Among Indian cities, Pune has some of the highest rates of vehicle ownership, and vehicles contribute nearly 25 per cent of particulate pollution in the city. To increase early adoption of electric vehicles, Pune proposes to prepare a city EV-readiness plan and establish an EV fund that incentivises use. The idea stands out because Pune is seen as a city at the vanguard of India’s national smart cities push and a hub of innovation. Success in Pune could allow solutions to scale across India and achieve broad impact,” read the statement.
This year’s challenge focuses on elevating the most important innovations generated in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. A total of 631 cities from 99 countries submitted their promising ideas for the competition. The selected 50 cities are from 29 countries across six continents. Apart from Pune, the only other Indian city to have made it to the top 50 of the competition is Rourkela. The finalists were chosen based on the four criteria of vision, potential for impact, feasibility and transferability.
“The PMC had submitted its plan on building the foundation for an all-electric-vehicle future. We will be preparing an action plan for increasing use of EVs in the city, with guidelines and instructions on its usage. The city EV fund would use the recommendations from the city EV readiness plan to design a pool of fiscal incentives for vehicles, charging stations, and potentially other related items,” said Mayor Murlidhar Mohol.
He said the PMC has set an objective of enabling wide-scale use of EVs in the city. “I am confident the strategy adopted by PMC will be implemented in other cities also. This will help sell more electric vehicles and increase their usage in the city, reducing vehicular pollution. It will also help achieve aims such as cleaner air and more health benefits for citizens,” said Mohol.
The PMC plans to conduct a needs assessment and hold workshops to determine the focus areas of the plan, such as identification of vehicle segments and operational guidelines for easing registration process of EV, putting in place charging infrastructure, and conducting awareness campaigns.
The Mayor said Pune is one of the most liveable cities in the country and is a hub of education, information technology and the automobile industry, but its rapid urbanisation has increased vehicular pollution, so the civic body is working on promoting use of EVs in the public transport system.