New Delhi: The government is leading the way in installing charging stations for electric vehicles, having set up several such units at various offices starting with the Prime Minister’s Office.
Daily, after dropping off officers at South Block gates or their homes, electric cars of PMO line up at the 15 charging stations installed at its parking space to get charged for the next day.
“PMO decided to lead by example and have the maximum charging stations,” an official in the top office told ET. “The prime minister is extremely keen on the idea. We also have a lot of electric cars in our fleet,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
PMO has the maximum number of EV charging stations among ministries and departments, followed by official think tank Niti Aayog and the finance ministry with 10 each. Then there are seven in Parliament House, five at power ministry, four at Rashtrapati Bhawan, three at external affairs ministry and two at Gujarat Bhawan in Delhi.
Official energy service company Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) has installed these charging stations as part of the government’s plan to buy 10,000 EVs. Only government EVs can access and be charged at these stations, given they are set up inside access-controlled buildings.
Supporting infrastructure — mainly high-speed charging stations — is the next big challenge. There are 20 public EV charging stations functioning in Delhi-NCR with more in the pipeline.
The budget has offered big incentives to people to buy electric cars, including an income-tax rebate for loan interest payment and a GST cut that will reduce ownership cost of EVs vis a vis petrol and diesel vehicles.
So far, the government is the biggest customer.
“The savings on fuel are substantive for the government through electric charging,” said a senior official in another ministry using EVs.
“The servicing cost is much lower too compared to a diesel vehicle that the government invariably uses otherwise.
We are using some EV vehicles now and can assess the difference in cost,” the person told ET.
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