NEW DELHI: Amid increasing petrol and diesel prices, Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday advocated the need for making the use of electric vehicles mandatory for officers in the Central government to push electric mobility in the country. Launching the “Go Electric” campaign to promote electric vehicles (EVs) and electric cooking, Gadkari said the mandatory use of 10,000 EVs by officers will help save nearly Rs 30 crore per month on account of fuel expenditure.
“There are so many secretaries, additional secretaries and government officials in Delhi. If all of them shift to electric vehicles it will help reduce air pollution and the fuel expenditure. I urge you (power minister R K Singh) to start this in your ministry to shift all vehicles attached to your ministry to electric and I will do the same in my ministry…I have decided to use only electric vehicles when I am in Nagpur,” Gadkari said. The minister said he doesn’t use the government vehicle when he is in Delhi.
The minister urged the power ministry to be a partner in the execution of the proposed pilot project to have a dedicated lane for electric trucks on the upcoming Delhi-Mumbai Expressway. R K Singh said they will soon hold consultation with the highways ministry on this issue. Responding to an observation from the power minister of how use of electric induction for cooking is 30% less compared to using LPG, Gadkari said, “I learnt this for the first time from you. One question came to my mind that why we shouldn’t provide subsidies on electric cooking appliances, which are manufactured after good research as this will reduce the cost of cooking. We already provide subsidies on cooking gas to nearly nine crore families.”
He was of the view that electricity cooking is clean and will also reduce import dependence for gas. Gadkari said he will launch an electric tractor in the next fortnight. The minister said while pushing for electric mobility, the government also needs to keep the interest of farmers in mind and must promote ethanol and biofuels.