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Highway EV public transport to become cheaper: Gadkari

The concluding phase of Technical & Commercial trial with Busses and long-range electric SUV on Delhi-Jaipur stretch from 9th September 2022 is underway.

Statesman News Service |

Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari revealed a miniature of the-state-of-the-art EV charging station conceptualised by National Highways for EV (NHEV). It is the first ever such model in the industry which has been conceptualised as a comprehensive wayside amenities plaza. These charging stations are claimed to replace the existing/traditional petrol pumps and wayside amenities on the highways in future.

The concluding phase of Technical & Commercial trial with Busses and long-range electric SUV on Delhi-Jaipur stretch from 9th September 2022 is underway.

During the inaugural address, Gadkari said, “Since last 3-4 years I have been talking about electric vehicles and have been answering many questions like what would happen if we break down with an electric vehicle? However it didn’t happen and with gradual increase in confidence on technology questions got answered itself. Now there are waiting lists for electric cars and scooters and I can say that electric is the fuel of the future. Currently electric double decker AC bus costs are coming to Rs. 60 per km, non AC Rs. 39 per kilometre and for normal electric AC bus Rs. 41 per km and diesel bus is costing Rs. 115 per km. If you can bring business class comfort in an electric bus with trolley on economical ticket cost to passengers, it will make public transportation more competent for users”.

The miniature revealed today has brought out the operational and financial comparison between ‘Charging Station’ and ‘Petrol Pumps’ at the centre-stage unfolding an imperative impetus on Public Private Partnership (PPP) to build nationwide charging infrastructure. It  gave a sight of India’s upcoming world class wayside amenities; carved inside a solar powered air conditioned space-station look alike charging station with inbuilt food court lounges, ayurvedic wellness-spas, eco-friendly bio toilets, ATM & bank outlets, conference arena, child & mother’s room, 2 wheeler EV showroom and Road Side Assistance (RSA) facilities equipped with battery swapping units for local e-mobility.

The miniature of the NHEV charging station has already been prototyped in Sector 86 & 52 of Gurugram in Haryana. The safety and standards perspective of operational and commercial challenges were envisaged and implemented by the NHEV team earlier this year in March. Two of India’s largest NHEV commissioned Alektrify charging stations are currently operational and were inaugurated by NITI Aayog’s Advisor Sudhendu Sinha.

Speaking on the occasion, Abhijeet Sinha, Project Director, NHEV said, “I am glad to share that the pilot has achieved its goals in both trials and now everyone including investors can see the future of petrol pumps in these charging stations. This miniature from the NHEV pilot has aided e-mobility to overcome other 3 major obstacles; layout, safety certification and standardisation, financing EV infra on highways and asset utilization and early breakeven.” He also requested Gadkari to consider the proposed name for the 1st E-Highway to be named after Bharat Ratna late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee as Atal Harit Vidyut Rashtriya Mahamarg (AHVRM).