50% of Karnataka govt vehicles to be electric: Deputy CM

About 50 per cent of vehicles owned by the Karnataka government will be electric in the next 2-3 years to promote e-mobility and curb pollution, Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan saud on Monday.

“We will replace 50 per cent of all petrol/diesel government vehicles with a electric version to encourage e-mobility and reduce air pollution,” he said at a virtual panel discussion on ‘future of sustainable mobility’, held as a part of the ‘Harvard-India Conference’ here.

Noting that the state was ready for partnership in the e-mobility sector, Narayan said battery-charging points would be set up in high-rise buildings, at metro rail stations, malls, IT parks and apartments for powering electric vehicles, including cars and buses.

“As absence of charging points in cities and towns is a major constraint, the state government is working to increase them for promoting greater use of e-vehicles,” he said.

The state government will also improve and expand the infrastructure for electric vehicles at public places, set up dedicated parks for e-cabs and making EV-charging points mandatory, said Narayan.

“Electric charging points will also be installed on state/national highways between Bengaluru and Mysuru, Chennai and other cities and towns across the state,” he added.

A high-tech Karnataka Electric Mobility Research and Innovation Centre will be set up in this tech city for creating an ecosystem for e-mobility in the state, he said.

“E-vehicles will be safe, sustainable and affordable. As India is a power surplus country, EVs will improve energy utilisation,” added Narayan.

The Central government has been supporting the e-mobility efforts across the country through funding research and providing a platform for design, development and demonstration of EV projects.

As a tech-savvy state, Karnataka plans to increase its market share of the digital engineering innovation economy to 50 per cent from 30 per cent, with clean tech, EVs, aerospace, med tech and construction offering opportunities to spur growth.