While urging vehicle manufacturers to look at electric powertrains as a viable option, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said the government is ready to allow electric two-wheelers to be run for commercial purposes.
As part of its stated agenda to electrify all vehicles by 2032. the government is toying with the idea of allowing electric two-wheelers to run as taxis.
Minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari said at a recent event held in Navi Mumbai that there was a greater need to reduce pollution in congested cities such as Mumbai and Delhi, where diesel is found to be the main culprit.
While urging vehicle manufacturers to look at electric powertrains as a viable option, Gadkari said the government is ready to allow electric two-wheelers to be run for commercial purposes.
“There are many new and big people who have entered the electric vehicle space. At first, the electric auto rickshaw came then came the electric car and I have (now) declared to get the electric bike (and) I will allow it to be run as a taxi,” Gadkari said.
At present, states vest the authority to allow two-wheelers to be run for commercial purposes. For instance, Goa has allowed two-wheelers to be run as taxis even as other states are considering the idea.
Recently, a vehicle aggregating company had started a pilot project of running two-wheelers as taxis in Karnataka. Though the move was later stalled by the state, the business generated sizeable consumer interest.
A number of domestic companies have jumped into making electric two-wheelers, with popular entrepreneurs like Ratan Tata and Pawan Munjal taking note. However, foreign brands have shown little interest in this space.
While the initial buying cost of the two-wheeler is high (an electric scooter cost as much as an entry-level petrol-powered bike), the low running cost of around 50 paise per kilometre is the lowest operating cost among all vehicle types.
Gadkari hopes that this low cost of operation will facilitate greater use of electric vehicles in the immediate future even as they are hailed as the best solution for addressing vehicular pollution.
In 2014, the Modi government started a monetary scheme aimed at incentivising the sale of all electric vehicles. Financial aid is given to electric two-wheelers, four-wheelers, trucks and buses under the FAME scheme (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles).
More companies are now warming up to the idea of electric vehicles. Pune-headquartered Bajaj Auto, for instance, has confirmed its interest in electric motorcycle and electric passenger three-wheeler segment declaring that it will launch these vehicles in the next one or two years.
Similarly, TVS Motors, Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Ashok Leyland and Nissan are some of the other companies who have shown interest in electric vehicles.
Article Credit: http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/economy/govt-toying-with-idea-of-allowing-electric-bikes-to-be-used-as-taxis-2342053.html