In December last year, Switch Mobility had won the bid to operate these 40 electric buses under the FAME-II scheme. These electric buses are equipped with fast charging technology. These will be operated within the route plan prescribed by the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU). According to Switch Mobility, these 40 electric buses will help reduce carbon emissions by an average of 1700 tonnes every year.
Switch Mobility will operate and maintain the fleet of electric buses. To charge these electric buses, bus depots and charging stations have been set up on the designated route. According to the information, depots and charging stations have been set up for these buses at Depot-3, ISBT-17, ISBT-43 and PGI in Chandigarh.
Last year, the Center had approved 80 electric buses for Chandigarh under the second phase of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India) scheme. These buses will help Chandigarh to reduce its dependence on existing diesel buses. The Union Territory currently has over 350 diesel buses plying on local or suburban routes. Chandigarh aims to replace all these fossil fuel buses with electric buses by 2027-28.
Electric vehicle policy may be announced soon in Chandigarh. The Chandigarh administration has approved the draft of the city’s first electric vehicle policy for five years which will come into effect from April 1, 2022. As per the draft, this policy will be implemented for five years. The policy will be placed in the public domain for 30 days to invite suggestions and comments from all the stakeholders as well as the general public of the Union Territory before approving the Electric Vehicle Policy.
The Chandigarh Electric Vehicle Policy has a provision to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles including electric cycles, two wheelers, three wheelers, electric cargo vehicles as well as four wheelers, passenger and commercial. Incentives under the policy will be given in addition to the FAME II scheme of the Central Government. Customers buying electric vehicles in the Chandigarh region will be able to take advantage of the subsidy available under this policy.
Under the draft policy, incentives to buy electric vehicles include waiving off the registration fee. Electric vehicles in Chandigarh have already been exempted from road tax till 2024. In addition, commercial electric vehicles, including two-wheelers used for last mile delivery, have been directed to convert to electric fleet by March 31, 2024. This will also include cab aggregators.
Buyers can avail incentives of Rs 5,000 per kWh on two-wheeler electric vehicles, up to a maximum of Rs 30,000. At the same time, an incentive of Rs 10,000 per kWh will be given on electric cars, which can be up to a maximum of Rs 1.50 lakh. A maximum subsidy of Rs 30,000 will be given on a three-wheeled electric rickshaw or any three-wheeled electric vehicle.
The draft policy also suggests limiting the number of petrol and diesel two-wheelers and three-wheelers in Chandigarh every year. Four wheelers will be phased out due to limited availability of options and price range.
The policy also mentions 100% rebate on parking charges for all types of electric vehicles at parking lots operated by Chandigarh Municipal Corporation for five years. The Chandigarh Electric Vehicle Policy will also help in creating public charging infrastructure and aims to build at least 100 public charging stations in the first two years.