The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has become the first municipality in India to launch electric vehicles on the streets of the capital. It has bought 32 electric cars from Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors and will add another 43 to its fleet of sedans by end March.
The cars are for officials and will replace the municipality’s polluting cars that run on petrol and diesel. The electric cars are parked in the basement of the SDMC’s premises.
Charging stations have also been set up here. The cars take 90 minutes to be charged and can travel 140 km. The SDMC is busy setting up charging stations at multiple locations. “We have set up charging stations for our cars at Ambedkar Stadium and at our zonal offices in Green Park, Lajpat Nagar, Najafgarh and Dwarka,” said Shikha Rai, leader of the house, SDMC.
Delhi is one of the most polluted cities in the world. The government has been struggling for a solution to the capital’s smoggy skies. “The electric cars will help to reduce pollution levels in the city. Seventy-five vehicles will save us 1.65 litres of fuel per annum and reduce 2,100 tonnes of carbon dioxide,” said Puneet Goel, commissioner of SDMC. The running cost of electric vehicles is also lower than conventional cars.
The Union government is keen to populate Indian cities with electric vehicles. By 2030, at least 30 percent of the total number of vehicles in India should be electric, says the government. And to SDMC goes the honour of being the first municipality to go electric.