“Public transport running on biofuel and electricity is the focus of the government as it would be environment friendly and cost effective,” said Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari while addressing the first edition of ‘Smart Mobility Conference’ organised by FICCI.
He added that India is an electric-surplus and coal surplus country and the nation can capitalise on this advantage to become an all-electric vehicle hub in the world. Having steered the country’s first electric vehicles project in Nagpur, the Minister said that, at present, there are 200 electric taxis in Nagpur along with 200 charging stations and by next month charging capacity of more than 10,000 cars will be created. The government is planning to increase the number of electric taxis from 200 to 2000 in Nagpur. Increasing production will also reduce the cost of lithium-ion battery over time, which almost makes up for 40 per cent of the total cost of an electric vehicle. He further mentioned that there is a lot of potential from the London Transport Model to enhance e-mobility in India and his ministry is engaging with them to scope out synergies in implementing the same model in various cities like Varanasi, Nagpur and Pune among others.
Emphasising the need of pollution-free methanol as fuel in vehicles, the Minister cited the example of Sweden, where an efficient system has been developed for substituting diesel by methanol as fuel. He added that, research in converting carbon dioxide to methanol is promising and can be a game changer for the economy.
Gadkari concluded by highlighting that cost effective, indigenous, import substitute and pollution free electric vehicles is the smart mobility solution for India.