The West Bengal government has recently announced that in order to encourage e-vehicles and reduce the dependability on traditional fossil-fuel driven vehicles, it has proposed special inter-city corridors which can be used only by electric vehicles, with charging stations every 25 km. Already, it has introduced e-vehicles in different state government transport facilities and has a target of reaching 10 lakh battery-powered vehicles by 2030.
Transport Minister Firhad Hakim said – “The state government has always wanted a pollution free state and this policy will take forward our fledgling dream of zero-emission transportation. E-vehicles will not only give us a greener and cleaner environment but at the same time it will keep us immune from the ever-rising fuel prices, which are pushing up prices of every commodity. This is the future of vehicles. We all must work together to achieve this common goal at the earliest.”
The first environment-friendly lanes will be built along two popular routes, one from Kolkata to Asansol – a distance of 215 km and the other from Kolkata to Digha – a distance of 185 km. Along these routes, electric vehicles are planned to have priority movement channels, and rapid charging stations will be set up every 25 km. There will also be green zones which might be developed into parking areas or other facilities where only battery-powered vehicles will be allowed.
The tariff for charging or input electricity tariff for public charging stations is likely to be kept low in order to contain operating costs and more people could go for such cars..
As per the policy, Kolkata, Howrah, Asansol and Darjeeling are identified as model e-mobility cities with New Town being the pilot city for all the initiatives. WBSEDCL is the state-level nodal agency for the charging infrastructure.
Emphasis has also been placed on using other renewable energy sources like hydrogen generation and refuelling stations. The first few will be developed by the government after which private players will be allowed too.