Bhubaneswar: The growing focus on climate change and rising air pollution in the city has caused the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) to undertake a number of smart initiatives to improve of the city. One of the key recommendations from a consultation with e-vehicle manufacturers in this regard is creating an ecosystem for electric vehicles in the city.
As a part of this programme, a stakeholder consultation workshop was organised on Thursday. It was chaired by the Additional Municipal Commissioner Mansi Nimbhal and the participants included senior officials from Bhubaneswar Development Authority, the Regional Transport Office, Town Planning Office, and the Central Electricity Supply Utility (CESU).
The private sector was represented by electric vehicle manufacturers and operators such as Mahindra, Kinetic and Lohia and cab aggregators such as Ola. The auto-rickshaw union representatives also attended.
The representatives expressed their concerns in creating the electric vehicle ecosystem, including the high-cost of battery, lack of charging infrastructure in the city and the difficulty in obtaining financing for these vehicles.
For this, BMC is working with the International Finance Corporation (a part of the World Bank) and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP to identify recommendations to promote electric vehicles in Bhubaneswar. This assignment is a part of the EU-IFC’s Eco-cities program to promote sustainable development for urban areas within India.
Some of the measures suggested by the stakeholders included identification of routes for electric rickshaws to operate on, business models for setting up of charging infrastructure, subsidized electricity tariff for charging vehicles and convenient licensing procedures.
The meeting concluded with the BMC planning to set up a high-level steering committee consisting of senior urban and transport officials to prepare a comprehensive policy for electric vehicles in the state.