New Delhi: The Delhi government will soon direct all cab aggregators and delivery companies operating in the city to ensure that up to 50% of the new vehicles added to their fleet are electric vehicles (EVs) by March 31, 2023, state environment minister Gopal Rai said on Saturday.
According to the draft aggregators policy, within three months of notification of the final policy, 10%of newly-onboarded two-wheelers and 5% of new four-wheelers will have to be EVs. Subsequently, by March 31, 2023, 50% of all new two-wheelers and 25% of all new four-wheelers taken by aggregators and delivery services will have to be electric, said a senior government official who asked not to be named.
“This new policy will be the first of its kind and will provide the necessary push to the aggregator industry to become environment friendly. It is a robust initiative to combat air pollution in Delhi. The Delhi government will also be making a representation to the Commission For Air Quality Management (CAQM) to direct other states in the national capital region to also adopt the policy. With this, the Kejriwal government has become the first in India to notify a policy to mandate EV fleets for aggregators,” said Rai.
As per the government data, Delhi has 130,544 registered EVs as on Saturday, the second highest among all states and union territories. Uttar Pradesh has the most EVs, with 271,365 vehicles registered so far.
While the draft notification is yet to be released, officials said it will put in the public domain soon, and comments will be sought from people for about 60 days. Subsequently, the policy will be reviewed and it will be notified for implementation with modifications if any.
“The draft notification has been signed and it will be put up in public domain through the Delhi government’s website for objections and suggestions on Monday in all likelihood,” said a government spokesperson.
Reena Gupta, advisor to the state environment minister, said, “The essence of the proposed policy by the Delhi government is to ensure that the entire spectrum of vehicles used by aggregators and delivery service providers are brought into the fold of sustainable and clean electric mobility, knowing the impact of large-scale adoption of clean vehicles can have on the air quality of Delhi.”
Transport minister Kailash Gahlot said the Delhi government has been taking effective vehicular pollution initiatives, including measures like better traffic management system, augmentation in public transport system, generating mass awareness, and implementation of stringent emission norms for both new and in-use vehicles.
“Drafted in accordance with the regulations set forth by the Delhi Electric Vehicle Policy 2020, the aggregator policy proposes incentives to ensure the transition to EVs amongst the ride hailing industry happens in a time bound manner,” Gahlot said.
Amit Bhatt, executive director (Transport), WRI India, said the zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) mandate has played a significant role in accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles worldwide. “For example, California in the US and China have mandates requiring manufacturers to put more ZEVs on the market. The European Union has proposed a voluntary target mechanism for ZEVs. However, ZEV mandates have not been part of India’s EV story as agencies fear a backlash from the incumbent auto industry. Delhi is the first state in India to propose such an initiative. If implemented well, it could be a game-changer for EV uptake in Delhi and the rest of the country,” he said.