E-vehicles in Maharashtra up

It’s boom time for electric vehicles in Mumbai and Maharashtra. While the state saw a phenomenal 153% rise in new e-vehicle registrations in the first nine months of the financial year 2021-2022, the city recorded a growth of 112% in the same period, the latest transport statistics show.

Compared to 9,415 e-vehicles registered in 2020-21, the number of registrations skyrocketed to 23,786 in just nine months of 2021-22 (April 1 to December 27 this year).The total e-vehicles registered so far in Maharashtra is 57,386 and there are indications that it will cross a lakh-mark in few months, officials said.

The growth in e-vehicles was also a good 112% in Mumbai, the statistics showed. From just 48 new e-vehicles registered in 2017-18, the numbers grew to 132 in 2018-19, 642 in 2019-20 and1,442 new registrations in 2020-21.

In the nine months of 2021-22, the registrations have more than doubled at 3,059 new e-cars /e-two wheelers. The total electric vehicles in Mumbai now stand at around 6,000. The registrations were maximum in the island city, with Tardeo registering 1920 e-cars/scooters so far.

Anand Surve, who recently purchased an e-scooter, says it's convenient to charge the battery. “I remove the battery from the two-wheeler and take it to my second floor residence in Ghatkopar where I charge it for a few hours late at night. The next day, I just put it back on the scooter and it gives me good mileage the entire day.” Also, fuel expense is around a rupee per km as compared to Rs 6-8 per km for diesel, sources said.

Among the new registrations were cars and SUVs with a high range of 300 km for a single (full) charge and this was adequate for intracity travel and also inter-city. Over a hundred housing societies in Mumbai now have e-charging points within the complex, with a concessional rate of Rs 5.50 per unit which is less than residential power charges.

Akshay Sawant, who owns an electric car, said there was a need for more government subsidies and the cost of ecars (and battery) was coming down. “The sales will go up only if prices of electric scooters or cars were at parity with diesel/petrol variants,” he suggested.

Transport expert Pranav Naik, “Our government needs to look at sustainability of this system by ensuring that electricity production is largely through sustainable sources and not coal, gas, and thermal as is the case now. They should also bolster public transport so more people travel in shared e-vehicles.”

City transport activist Gaurang Vora welcomed the growth of e-vehicles, saying there was visibility of escooters and e-cars with green number plates on the road. “Eco-friendly modes of fuel are the need of the hour. The government should facilitate more and more usage of e-vehicles by providing subsidies in its purchase. It will reduce pollution to a greater extent."

A government official said there were plans for 1500 new EV charging stations across the Mumbai region, with at least one public charging station in a 3kmx3 km grid. The state also plans 25% electrification of intra-city public transport and last mile delivery vehicles by 2025. Also, 10% of new vehicle registrations will be electric vehicles by 2025, he added.

The BEST, too, has procured close to 400 electric AC buses on wet lease this year.

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