20th Nov, 2017
MUMBAI : The state transport department plans to push for electric bikes for delivery of food and other goods here to reduce pollution on roads.
Transport ministry sources said the government will come out with an elaborate policy on promoting e-vehicles in Mumbai region and a notification will be issued.
The government has encouraged electric buses, with BEST introducing battery operated buses a few days back. It now proposes to encourage fast-food joints, restaurants, hotels and those running mobile apps and online marketing portals to use electric bikes for deliveries.
"We want to minimise emissions and reduce pollution on roads. The Union government has emphasised a mass shift for electric vehicles in 2030 and Maharashtra will be among the leading states in making this possible," said a senior official from Mantralaya.
Transport department statistics show that of 31 lakh vehicles plying on city roads, more than 18 lakh (58%) are two-wheelers (bikes and scooters). A significant number of these bikes are used by delivery boys and courier agents, as well as those delivering goods booked online or through mobile apps. "We want to encourage these agencies to switch to e-bikes soon," the official added.
Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray and state transport minister Diwakar Raote favoured more electric vehicles in Maharashtra, at a weekend meeting. Thackeray said the minister "promised concrete steps in few days to promote electric/ hybrid zero-emission transport across the state. Seeing the benefit of electric buses of BEST, I requested the minister to encourage electric buses on Mumbai-Pune, Pune-Nagar and Pune-Kolhapur routes to promote emission-free transport. Moreover, in the case of delivery bikes for food and goods deliveries, electric bikes must be promoted by the government. We must do everything we can to keep our world clean and green".
Sources said 23,000 electric two-wheelers have been sold in India in the fiscal that ended on March 31, 2017. It is up from 18,000 e-bikes in the country last year, and there is a likelihood of nearly 36,000 being sold in the present fiscal, the sources said. Some e-bike models have a waiting period of one-and-a-half months, they said.
While hinting that the country was moving towards electric vehicles, the goods and service tax (GST) council had in May set a 12% tax rate for them, compared to 28% plus cess for petrol and diesel cars.
Sources said the entry of new models of e-bikes could help bring down the cost of battery technology. The cost of an e-bike (100cc) could be anywhere Rs35,000-50,000, sources said, while one can ride 70-100km on a single charge.
Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com