Maharashtra Government Announces New Policy Draft Focused on Electric Vehicles

Maharashtra Government Announces New Policy Draft Focused on Electric Vehicles

The Maharashtra Government on Thursday announced the Electric Vehicles (EV) Policy 2021, which will be aimed at ensuring that electric vehicles account for at least 10 per cent of all new vehicle registrations by the year 2025. 

Officials familiar with the matter said that this policy will see the switching of fuel-based government vehicles with electric vehicles (EVs) starting in April 2022 across major cities of the state. The draft of this policy is currently waiting for approval from the State Cabinet. 

The information was provided on Thursday during a webinar held by the State Environment Department’s Majhi Vasundhara Abhiyan accompanied by Climate Voices as part of a consortium of three advocacy groups working across the country. 

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Additional Chief Secretary (Transport), Maharashtra, Ashish Kumar Singh said, “Today Maharashtra’s share of the country’s (electric) vehicle registrations is around 12% (32,000) but the size is still not large enough to excite manufacturers. We are keen on taking advantage of the schemes by the Government of India. Maharashtra is the leading manufacturer of internal combustion engines, and our EV Policy aims to make it a leading manufacturer of electric vehicles as well.”

Singh also heads the committee that drafted the new Electric Vehicles Policy. Officials said that this policy has specific goals for five regions across Maharashtra including Aurangabad, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), Nagpur, Nashik, and Pune. 

One of the primary objectives is to electrify 25 per cent of the current public transport infrastructure, including last-mile connectivity vehicles, by 2025. The policy also seeks to switch 15 per cent of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation’s (MSRTC) fleet to electric vehicles. It’s worth noting that the MSRTC recently announced plans to set up electric charging points for its fleet at State Transport (ST) stations

Transport Commissioner for Maharashtra, Dr Avinash Dhakne said, “We also intend on providing full-scale EV infrastructure on four major arterial highways by 2025, namely Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway, Mumbai-Pune Express Highway, Mumbai-Nashik, and Nashik-Pune.”

He went on to say that 1,500 electric vehicle charging stations have been planned for MMR along with 500 in Pune, 150 in Nagpur, 100 in Nashik, and 75 in Aurangabad.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) is working with the Environment Department to develop its own policy for the manufacture and use of lithium-ion batteries.

Chairman of the MPCB, Sudhir Srivastava said, “We are drafting rules on recycling lithium-ion batteries and other electronic waste that is likely to be generated due to boom in EV infrastructure.”

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