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Delhi government to hire only electric vehicles for official purposes

he Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government will now hire and lease only electric vehicles (EVs) for official purposes, but the purchase of petrol, diesel and CNG vehicles for bureaucrats, ministers and senior officials will continue.

In order to thrust ahead with its effort of reducing air pollution in the capital city, the Delhi government from now onward will only lease/hire electric vehicles for all official purposes, said a committee formed by the incumbent Delhi government for formulating policies on electric vehicles.

However, bureaucrats, officials and ministers can still purchase petrol, diesel and CNG vehicles. This decision to continue the use of electric vehicles (EVs) for official use is also expected to influence the common public and encourage them to adopt battery-powered vehicles.

As per the report by the Indian Express, the new guidelines have also made exceptional provisions for special purposes and public service vehicles like ambulances, fire trucks, police vehicles, etc.

The revised guidelines by the committee stated: “All leased/hired cars used for the commute of GNCTD officers shall be electric and department, grantee institutions/autonomous bodies will decide the type of (dry/wet-lease) of EVs at their own level, based on resources available to them.”

Sources in the government also stated that although EVs prove to be much better for the environment in the long run, their higher initial cost, lack of charging infrastructure in the country and some other factors are preventing them from being made mandatory for all government departments and officials.

The office memorandum from the Finance Secretary also reads “The finance department’s approval is required in respect of the number of electric vehicles to be hired for the first time, but not required for extension of existing contracts or fresh hiring of the same number of vehicles in subsequent years after observing all formalities,”

Transport principal secretary cum commissioner Ashish Kundra said, “Cost is not an issue as the government gives incentives for purchasing electric cars, but if you buy a car, you will have to manage secondary expenses like maintenance, charging infrastructure, etc So, it is not as if departments cannot buy e-cars. The transport department, the DPCC, GAD have purchased EVs, but we haven’t made it mandatory for all departments.”

He also said, “We have started with hiring and leasing. As manufacturing of electric cars and supply chains progress, the government will also gradually make purchasing such cars mandatory in future.”

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