Indian Railways to replace its fleet with Electric Vehicles

This will be the largest migration from fuel-based vehicles to EVs in a government entity; charging infrastructure at stations, office buildings, parking spaces to be created

October 11, 2022 10:49 am | Updated October 12, 2022 07:11 pm IST - CHENNAI

Photo used for illustration purpose only. File

Photo used for illustration purpose only. File | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

In a major shift towards decarbonisation of the transportation sector, the Indian Railways has decided to replace its entire fleet of owned/hired/leased Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) cars with Electric Vehicles.  

Rolling out its policy on EVs last week, the railways said it would create vast charging infrastructure at major railway stations, office buildings, parking lots etc. As part of the measures taken to promote e-mobility, the national transporter said it was ideally suited to play a key role in taking forward the Government of India’s mission of promoting EVs.

This will be the largest migration from fuel-based vehicles to EVs in a government organisation which will also come with sufficient affordable and accessible charging infrastructure.

The railways, which aims to achieve net zero carbon emission by 2030, is implementing various programmes like 100% electrification of broad gauge tracks, sourcing of green renewable power, reduction in energy consumption etc. In its EV policy published on October 7, the railways said it intended to proliferate the use of EVs over its network and support development of EV charging infrastructure

In the first phase, the railways said all ICE vehicles in the Railway Board, Zonal offices, Production units, Workshops would be replaced with EVs in the next three years. 

Action plan 

Going by the roadmap, the railways would replace 20% of its fleet with EVs by December 2023, 60% by December 2024 and achieve 100% by the end of 2025. However, replacement of inspection vehicles in divisional offices and attached units would not be mandatory in the initial phase of three years since the vehicles would be required by officials for frequent visits to far flung remote areas where adequate charging infrastructure may not be available. 

Charging stations

The railways will create affordable and accessible charging infrastructure for the users, including passengers, visitors and general public, over its premises. General Managers of Zonal Railways have been asked to advise their officers to identify and demarcate parking spaces in office complexes and station premises for installation of EV charging facilities. 

Charging Point Operators (CPOs) would be invited to set-up EV charging stations at these locations. Parking fee for the use of charging infrastructure shall be applicable as per the parking fee decided by the railways. CPOs would ensure access to all compatible EV owners and have a mobile application for EV users to locate and book the chargers and pay for the services digitally. The chargers would be installed as per the safety guidelines issued by Central Electricity Authority or other competent agency/department of Government of India.

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