To encourage usage of electric vehicles (EVs) and ensure efficient last-mile connectivity, Lt. Governor of Delhi Anil Baijal has asked the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to install charging facilities for the EVs at each metro station.
The announcement came at a meeting chaired by the Lt. Governor of Delhi recently to review the progress of implementation of multi-modal integration (MMI) plans on DMRC metro stations, said a media report. The EV charging facilities will ensure more and more commuters use EVs to commute to the metro stations.
Last-mile connectivity has been a challenge for commuters for many years now, especially in cities. Currently, 10 Indian cities, including Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Kochi and Lucknow, have functional metro rail networks. The Delhi Metro spans nearly 350 km, having over 250 metro stations and nine colour-coded lines. If the last-mile connectivity improves, the number of people taking public transport will surely see a rise, thereby reducing the pollution levels in every city.
EV Startups Bridging The Last-Mile Connectivity Gap
The government has been working towards last-mile connectivity on priority as part of transport infrastructure with the market largely been dominated by unorganised e-rickshaws. Lately, many EV startups, however, have been trying to capitalise on the untapped market.
The DMRC recently gave permission to e-scooter renting services at four Delhi Metro stations. The service would be operated by electric vehicle startup qQuick. “To offer efficient last-mile connectivity to commuters, DMRC has authorised e-scooters renting services at four stations, namely Vishwavidyalaya, Mandi House, Dwarka Sector 9 and Nehru Enclave,” DMRC said. Currently, battery-operated bicycle-sharing services are operational at seven metro stations and pedal bicycle-sharing services are available at 19 stations.
Bike-sharing app Yulu tied up with Delhi Metro in September this year. The bike-sharing firm launched its services from Dilli Haat to JLN Stadium in central Delhi in collaboration with DMRC. The app caters to first and last-mile connectivity for commuters. Yulu plans to deploy 5,000 electric non-motorised vehicles at metro stations by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the recent Toyota-Suzuki tie-up is expected to give a boost to the mainstream EV market in India. Toyota on Tuesday (October 22) announced that it plans to introduce a compact electric car in India in the next few years in collaboration with Suzuki, according to Shigeki Terashi, executive vice-president and Toyota board member. Toyota is expected to collaborate with Suzuki that has a large share in the Indian market, before Tokyo Motor Show 2019 Open Future on October 24. Toyota plans to introduce a compact battery electric vehicle (EV) but hasn’t yet given out many details about the product. However, Terashi said that its new EV will have a range of 100 kilometres on a single charge, according to a media report.