Central govt officials in Delhi should hire only electric vehicles: FinMin

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If you are a babu with a department or ministry of the Union government in the Capital, the hired vehicles used by you may have to go electric soon. In a first such move, the finance ministry has advised all offices of ministries and departments of the Union government to switch over their hired cars from petrol and diesel to an electric one.

The move comes at a time when the Capital has been facing abnormally high levels of pollution, forcing the authorities to temporarily shut factories and construction activity in highly polluted areas of Delhi.

In an office memorandum dated December 22, the ministry’s Department of Expenditure has stated that all the ministries/departments may “aim at replacing the petrol and diesel cars hired in their secretariats and attached offices (located in Delhi) through contractors by electric cars for mobility in Delhi. In cases where existing contracts for the hiring of petrol/diesel vehicles have come to an end, the departments may consider a fresh contract for hiring electric vehicles”.

The ministry said the advisory has been issued keeping in view the policy thrust of the government to have at least 30 per cent of the total vehicle fleet in the country as electric by 2030. It added that these vehicles are environment-friendly, cost-effective, and a substitute for fossil fuels.

The advisory comes in spite of reports of unhappiness by a few government officials over the use of electric cars hired from Energy Efficiency Services (EESL). The reports attributed the unhappiness to sub-optimal performance of such cars on the roads.

In order to facilitate the ministries to make a switch, a framework of a draft agreement for entering into a contract for lease/hiring of electric cars has also been provided by the finance ministry.  

“This is a welcome move. As far as I understand, no other government in the world has taken such an initiative specifically for its offices,” said Saurabh Kumar, managing director at EESL, which has leased over a 1,000 e-cars to various users in the central and state governments.

It is estimated that the offices of the Union ministries and departments in Delhi use about 2,000 leased/hired cars. The numbers can multiply manifold if the advisory is expanded to offices outside Delhi, to other cities.

Early this month, the Union power ministry allowed private charging of electric vehicles at residences and offices, besides de-licensing public charging stations and offering priority connections for setting up such stations.

The ministry, after consultations with the state governments and other relevant agencies, has decided to go for a phased roll-out of the public charging infrastructure.

In the first phase, to be executed over a three-year period, all mega cities with a population of 4 million and above, along with the existing expressways and important highways connected with these cities, will be taken up for coverage.
  • Finance ministry advises Union government offices in the Capital to switch hired cars to electric
  • Issues draft agreement guidelines for entering into such hiring contracts
  • A total of 2,000 hired cars may have to switch to electric
  • The numbers could multiply if the advisory is expanded to other cities
  • Indian government aims to have 30 per cent of the total vehicle fleet as electric by 2030

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