In a virtual conference, organised by LetMebreathe recently, several experts got together to discuss the preparedness of Delhi to switch to electric vehicles (EVs) as a desired mode of transportation.
The conference, ‘The road to EV – From Policy to Action’, witnessed a free-wheeling discussion between EV users, policy experts and urban planners on Delhi’s government’s ambitious EV plan. The Delhi government had recently released a road map for 100 percent electrification of last-mile delivery service fleets in Delhi by 2030.
“In my view it is a very good, forward-looking policy compared with other states. Delhi was one of the first state to come out with a lot of incentives for EV owners. It also touched upon the topic of the ecosystem, the charging infrastructure, putting up common charging infrastructure in apartments, in public places, etc,” said Vivek Ahuja, IT Director, Idemia and Coordinator for Nexon EV Owners Club.
The focus of the campaign has been on the Electrification of Delhi and monitoring the same through Policy, Planning and People (PPP) lens. The campaign also focused on a city-level action plan for electrifying urban passenger transport in Delhi, while comprehensively reviewing the city’s existing infrastructure and current EV readiness.
“The decarbonisation of road transport via the adoption of electric vehicles is very important. And in addition to various initiatives of the central government to accelerate EV adoption, several state governments have taken steps to promote EVs. And 20 out of 28 states announced their EV policies during 2017 to 2020,” said Dr Parveen Kumar, Senior Programme Manager, Electric Mobility, Cities and Transport Programmes, WRI India. He also raised the issue of how charging stations continue to be a massive barrier for consumers to switch to EVs.
“All players, such as shopping mall owners or residential complexes, resident welfare associations, need to come and work with the government to develop the charging infrastructure in their facilities. Unless we have a good network of charging infrastructure, range anxiety and all these issues will keep on bothering the consumers,” Dr. Kumar added.
For architect and Urban Planner, Kumar Gaurav, the EV plans are excellent, but they need to be implemented in such a way that last-mile connectivity and concerns of consumers are addressed. “We need to have something which details out the how. How is it going to happen? Where are we going to place these charging points? How is the battery swapping going to happen? All of this. What type of vehicles are we talking about? What type of charging will we be having?” asked Gaurav.
All agencies need to coordinate better, stressed Anuj Sharma, President Electric Vehicle Federation. “We need to expand the ecosystem of experts to create awareness and ease out the infrastructure issues. The civic agencies like DDA, MCD need to spend some money to set up the charging infrastructure,” he added.
According to latest reports, more than 25,890 electric vehicles were sold in Delhi in the first six months of 2022. They accounted for 9.3 per cent of all vehicles registered till June 30 in the national capital. So, as Delhi’s EV sales gather steam, it’s only a matter of time before the challenges are eased out.