Thane city is set to become a model town for the adoption of Electric Vehicles (EVs), both in public transportation and private vehicles.
In a town hall on air pollution organised by Climate Voices — a collective of three organisations — along with the Maharashtra Environment and Climate Change Department’s Majhi Vasundhara initiative, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) announced that a pilot project will be launched in Thane.
Dr V M Motghare, Joint director (air quality), Maharashtra Pollution Control Board stated that given the rising air pollution from vehicles, the state government is pushing for EVs. “We will soon have a detailed electric vehicle policy for the entire state. Also, currently, we have nominated Thane as a model city across Maharashtra for implementing electric vehicles.”
An updated e-vehicles policy will be launched this year, which will include incentives and create infrastructure for private and public vehicles to make the transition to e-vehicles, said MPCB chairman Sudhir Srivastava in the town hall. Thane will be the first city in the state where private vehicle owners will be encouraged to make the transition to e-vehicles.
At present, the state government has shortlisted Thane, Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad, Nagpur and Nashik to promote electric vehicles in public transport. To encourage EVs to reduce air pollution, the Maharashtra government has also formed a seven-member committee to decide policies for their purchase in various departments and for charging facilities.
With the Centre giving a push for faster adoption of EVs, the state government had launched an ambitious project of setting up 500 EV charging stations across Maharashtra in a phase-wise manner.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is also planning to set up charging stations across the city. The BMC has been pushing the use of EVs by planning to start a rental service for electric bikes. India plans to turn about 30 per cent of its vehicles battery-powered by 2030.