New Delhi: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday pitched for the use of alternative fuels for vehicles to reduce the import of crude oil as well as cut down on pollution.
As much as 35 percent of the pollution in the country is due to diesel and petrol, Gadkari said, adding, “this is why we need import-substituting, cost-effective and pollution-free and indigenous products”.
At the launch of the country’s first electric double-decker air-conditioned bus, the Minister for Road Transport and Highways said that electric automobiles are great cost-effective when compared to diesel ones.
“In the Indian situation, import of crude oil is a big challenge. We are already experiencing the way rates are increased. It is also very difficult for the common man…,” he said.
According to him, it is time to start using alternative fuels like electricity, ethanol, methanol, bio-diesel, bio-CNG, bio-LNG and hydrogen for the automobile sector.
Further, he said the current size of the Indian automobile industry stands Rs 7.5 lakh crore and it has maximum employment potential besides giving maximum taxes to central and state governments.
“My dream is to make this industry Rs 15 lakh crore by the end of 2024, and this is possible,” he said.
Switch Mobility, the electric vehicle division of Hinduja group’s flagship Ashok Leyland, unveiled the country’s first electric double-decker air-conditioned bus EiV 22. These buses, with a seating capacity for 65 passengers, will replace the existing double-decker fleet of the BEST (Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport) undertaking.
As of now, Switch is operating its twin-floor electric AC buses in the United Kingdom.
Switch India has already secured an order of 200 electric double-decker buses from the BEST and it is looking at a dominant space in the electric double-decker segment across key regions in the country, the company said.
“We already have an order for 200 electric double-decker AC buses in Mumbai. We will deliver 50 of these buses this financial year. Many more cities are discussing with us for these buses,” Mahesh Babu, CEO of Switch Mobility India and COO at Switch Mobility Ltd told PTI.
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