Goa to make electric vehicles mandatory for all new rental services: CM

Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant has announced that the state government will make it mandatory for all tourist ‘rent-a-cab’ and ‘rent-a-bike’ services registered from 1 January 2024 to be electric vehicles.

Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant. (ANI Photo)

The chief minister, addressing the inaugural ‘Energy Transition Working Group’ meeting on enabling policies to accelerate e-mobility, also said that going forward all government purchases of light motor vehicles will only be electric vehicles.

“It will be made mandatory that all new tourist vehicles, rent-a-cab and rent-a-bike, be EVs from January 2024. It will also be mandatory for permit holders having multiple tourist taxis, rent-a-bike and rent-a-cab operators to retrofit 30% of the fleet to EV by June 2024,” he said.

“New government light motor vehicles purchased from January 2024 will mandatorily be EVs,” the CM added.

Justifying the decision, Sawant pointed at the state’s vehicle density, which he said was 4.5 times higher than the national average largely on the account of tourism.

“Goa is ranked 15th in the world in terms of vehicle density. Being a global tourism hotspot, more than 85 lakh (8.5 million) tourists visit the state each year against the state’s population of 15 lakh (1.5 million). This forms a major contributor to increased carbon emissions in the state due to the large number of taxis, rental vehicles and buses that tourists use to commute. Based on the recent study carried out by GIZ, 40% of total carbon emissions generated in Goa are due to vehicular operations,” he said.

Speaking at the event, G20 Sherpa and former Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant warned that if India does not transition to champion electric vehicle manufacturing, it stands to lose out and lose its place as a leading manufacturer of two-wheeler vehicles in the world.

“India should first go about electrifying two wheelers and three wheelers and that’s what our target should be. I think this clarity should come to everybody’s mind that our policy must be to go not 75% or 60% but 100% electrification of two wheelers and three-wheelers by 2030. That should be our target. I’m saying this after a detailed analysis that it is possible for India… In two-wheelers, we are (currently) about 7% (electric), and in three-wheelers we are 54%,” Kant said, urging state governments to push towards a target of “65% of all buses in state transport undertakings to go electric.”

“Diesel and petrol are dying technologies. And they will soon be dead, and the age of electric vehicles is inevitable soon. The electric vehicle market has already hit the 10-million mark and every year across the globe around 18% of the new cars sold are EVs. In China, 60% of the cars sold are electric. In Europe, it is 15% and in the US, it is 10%,” he added.

US Consul General Mike Hankey highlighted the collaborative efforts between the Indian and US governments in this regard.

“Our governments announced a payment security mechanism that will facilitate the deployment of 10,000 Indian-made electric buses in India. That effort will build upon work in the e-mobility space that USAID has been engaged in for two decades now – facilitating partnerships with the private sector that help produce new electric vehicles and exploring new models for procurement and financing in support of the EV ecosystem. These efforts dovetail with India’s own domestic plans in the transportation sector to build out EV infrastructure and manufacture more vehicle batteries domestically,” Hankey said.

“USAID is also supporting the Indian Railways’ ambitious target to become ‘net-zero’ by 2030 by expanding on investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and planning for new areas of investment such as green hydrogen. We have engaged globally with the private sector to scale-up existing efforts to make the transition to zero emission vehicles. In 2022, we joined the United Kingdom as co-chairs of the Zero Emission Vehicle Transition Council to accelerate the global transition to these vehicles,” he added.

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