Himachal Pradesh to replace all government vehicles with EVs
Himachal Pradesh has taken the most ambitious in the country, to further promote the use of electric vehicles in the state. The state has set a groundbreaking precedent by becoming the first in the country to switch its entire fleet of petrol and diesel vehicles to electric ones. The state transport department has set an ambitious target to equip all government departments with electric vehicles within a year, paving the way for a cost-efficient and environmentally friendly system.
Himachal Pradesh New Policies
As part of this plan, the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) will add 300 e-buses to its fleet, for which an outlay of Rs 400 crore has been sanctioned. The aim is to have the entire fleet of e-buses operational by 2025, contributing to a reduction in the state’s carbon footprint and air pollution.
The HRTC, which is crucial to the state’s economy as it connects far-flung villages with urban areas, has been suffering losses due to rising petroleum prices. The switch to electric vehicles is expected to reduce the daily expenditure of about Rs 1.5 crore incurred by the HRTC.
Moreover, the state’s electric vehicle policy, which aims to achieve a 100% transition to electric vehicles by 2030, aligns with the United Nation’s sustainable development goals. The policy’s objectives include saving the environment, accelerating demand for EVs, promoting a sustainable transport system, and creating a public-private charging infrastructure for EVs. The policy also includes provisions for charging spots in commercial buildings like hotels and shopping malls, and non-domestic and non-commercial rate of electric power at public charging facilities and commercial charging stations.
The policy has received positive responses from experts, with Climate Trends research associate Archit Fursule saying, “the uptake of EVs into Himachal needs to focus on an implementation strategy which leads to a complete development of the EV ecosystem.” This includes creating zero or low-emission zones in tourist destinations, which would allow only EVs like e-buses, auto-rickshaws, and e-cabs. The switch to electric vehicles in Himachal Pradesh is a promising move toward a sustainable future, and it will be interesting to see how the state continues to implement and improve upon its electric vehicle policy.
According to Climate Trends research associate Archit Fursule, the policy needs to focus on an implementation strategy that leads to a complete development of the EV ecosystem. Fursule suggests the creation of zero or low-emission zones in eco-sensitive areas and tourist destinations, allowing only EVs like e-buses, auto-rickshaws, and e-cabs. This, along with other steps, could create a significant boost in the adoption of EVs in Himachal Pradesh.
Himachal Pradesh’s New Initiatives
The state government is also working on appropriate steps to set up new driving test tracks to ensure compliance with road safety standards. Additionally, charging facilities are being considered prime locations in the state, including various government institutions and outside the state. The state’s draft policy was notified in January last year, and steps are underway to make it a reality.
How will EV shift help Himachal Pradesh?
The HRTC, with over 3,500 buses connecting far-flung villages with urban areas, has been suffering losses due to rising petroleum prices. The shift to electric vehicles is expected to reduce the daily expenditure of about Rs 1.5 crore incurred by the HRTC. Experts have also noted that the ecologically sensitive state with huge tourism potential is expected to be one of the major beneficiaries of this decision.
Himachal Charging Infrastructure
The state government is also taking steps to install charging facilities at prime locations in the state, starting with various government institutions including the Secretariat and Himachal Sadan and Bhawans outside the state. Furthermore, the government is working on appropriate steps to set up new driving test tracks to ensure compliance with road safety standards.
As the state of Himachal Pradesh sets an example for others to follow, it is clear that the shift towards electric vehicles is an important step towards a cleaner and more sustainable future. With the state’s commitment to achieving its ambitious targets, it is sure to make significant strides toward becoming a role model for other states to follow in the years to come.
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