The Electric Vehicles Policy 2020, notified by the Delhi government on Friday, seeks to affect a major transformation when it comes to last-mile connectivity in the Capital – whether related to goods and services or for citizens.

The policy not only envisions the replacement of the existing autorickshaw fleet with e-autos and State-run buses, progressively, with e-buses, but also ensures that delivery-based services operating in the city are powered by e-mobility.

Ride hailing service providers, according to the policy, will be allowed to operate electric two-wheeler taxis subject to operating within the guidelines to be issued by the Transport Department. The incentives provided by the policy, it stated, led the government to expect that it would encourage delivery service providers related to food delivery, e-commerce logistics providers and couriers to switch to using electric two-wheelers.

“To ensure the switch happens in a time-bound manner, all delivery service providers shall be expected to convert 50% of their fleet operating in Delhi to electric by March 31, 2023 and 100% by March 31 March, 2025,” the policy states. Delivery service providers who commit to achieve these targets will also be eligible for financing support from the Delhi Finance Corporation.

By providing incentives related to the purchase and use of new electric autos instead of the current fleet mainly powered by CNG, an open permit system will be put in place to provide permits on first come, first served basis to those with valid light motor vehicle driving licences and a Public Service Vehicle badge.

No cap on permits

Unlike the existing cap on the number of CNG-run autorickshaws, which are allowed to ply in the city, the Delhi government, according to the policy, is in favour of not having any cap on permits issued to e-autos in Delhi, since they are zero-emission vehicles and can be very effective in ensuring clean, last-mile connectivity.

“Pending further orders on this matter by Hon’ble Supreme Court, the open permit system for e-autos shall be subject to the cap on maximum number of autos in Delhi as fixed by the apex court,” the policy states.

A Purchase Incentive of ₹30,000 per vehicle will be provided by the government to registered owners of e-autos.

1,000 e-buses by 2020

Half of the State-run buses to be procured for commuters by the Delhi government over the next three years too, according to the policy, will be “pure electric buses” starting with the induction of 1,000 pure electric buses by 2020.

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