Forget Hindustan Ambassadors, loud sirens ministers will from now on forth be identified by the preceding silence of their vehicles as the Department of Expenditure has issued a memorandum for the switch of all government vehicles from conventional to Electric Vehicles. The shift has been initiated with the some departments within the ministry including the Department of Economic Affairs, as well as the Ministry of Finance already inducting 15 electric vehicles into their fleet. To ensure the a seamless shift and a sturdy eco-system, the department has also announced 28 charging stations with 24 standard AC chargers and 4 fast DC chargers being installed. The AC chargers will take approx 6 hours per car to fully charge, whereas the 4 fast DC chargers will be able to fully charge the electric fleet in less than 90 mins.
While 15 Cars seem to be just scratching the surface of a larger paradigm shift, these 15 vehicles alone will save the government 36,000 litres of fuel or Rs 23.40 lakh in fuel expenses and reduce the carbon CO2 emission of the Ministry by 440 tonnes in a year! This is aside from the maintenance expenses that they would have required to bear if the vehicle were ICE vehicle, considering that on an annual basis maintenance of electric vehicles are almost a fourth of the cost of conventional vehicles. The shift will be incremental but sure, as the term of each leased vehicle expires the government department will be required to renew their lease with an electric vehicles. This move is expected to reinforce the penetration of Electric Vehicles, by giving manufacturers guaranteed customers over the next few years ensuring a smoother transition. As of the moment Government officials whos leased car terms have expired, will have only three vehicles to choose from, all of which are being manufactured in India by Indian companies, these will include the Mahindra e20, the Mahindra e-Verito and the Tata Tigor EV. All of these vehicles represent the most nascent move to electric vehicles and offer roughly 140 kms of range. Aside from the powertrain, these cars — with the exception of the e20 — share the same features of their Internal combustion counterparts.
The Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister, Arun Jaitley was positive on the shift, with his department leading the way in acquisitions. He said that the adoption of Electric mobility not only was an attractive, sustainable and profitable solution to combat climate change and vehicular emissions, but would also create new opportunities and jobs in the Indian Economy. He concluded, speaking on behalf of his department, saying that they are proud to be a part of India’s mission to rapidly adopt electric vehicles.
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