In October last year, the Delhi government’s transport department launched a registration scheme for electric cars, of which 1,406, or 33 per cent, are reserved for female drivers.
In February, the government received 20,589 applications, including 19,846 from men and 743 from women. The Letter of Intent (LOI) has been provided to the first shortlist of successful candidates.
So far, 823 women have applied for an e-car permit. Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot had said last month that the remaining permits would be given to DMRC for last-mile connectivity from metro stations. Even if the DMRC provides permits for an operator to operate e-drive services, it must ensure that they are managed by female drivers. Gahlot told TOI on Wednesday that a letter would soon be sent to DMRC allowing them to allocate e-cars on feeder roads.
To ensure visibility and ensure compliance and prevent misuse of the system, the department had also notified a special color scheme for these e-cars – lilac for female drivers and blue for the rest. The department had also organized a seven-day “e-auto mela” at the Sarai Kale Khan and Loni Institute of Driving, Training and Research to raise awareness about e-autos and test drives.
DMRC already has a fleet of nearly 100 electric buses, which can travel a distance of around 120 km on a single charge. These e-buses have “validators” installed at the entrance gates, where a commuter can use a Delhi Metro or Metro DTC smart card and go through a turnstile to enter the vehicle.
The electric buses can accommodate up to 24 passengers and are monitored from a dedicated operations control room via GPS. Other e-bus security features include multiple panic buttons, stop request buttons, and CCTV cameras. For the maintenance of these buses, dedicated depots have been set up at Shastri Park and Majlis Park, which also have one-of-a-kind automatic washing facilities.
As part of its ambitious electric vehicle policy, the Delhi government is also offering a purchase incentive of Rs 30,000 through e-auto and the possibility of loans with a 5% interest subsidy through incorporated agencies, in addition to exemption from registration fees and road tax under its EV Policy. The government is also developing public charging stations as part of the policy.
A few months ago, the Department of Transportation also held a seven-day “e-Auto Mela” for prospective e-auto drivers to see and drive all available models, in addition to exploring the conditions of loan available.