Bengaluru’s electric vehicle rollout and air quality monitoring system are set to receive a boost.
A two-year programme between the UK and India launched this week in the latter’s IT capital, home to over 10 million people, with the aim of providing opportunities to test interventions related to air quality and electric vehicle integration.
It will identify innovations that have the potential to improve air quality and provide an environment to test and refine ideas, while using a unique combination of satellite and sensor data to add to a more detailed, localized map of the city’s air quality.
The initiative will also examine classic challenges related to electric vehicle rollout, including charging infrastructure, grid management and integrating renewable energy to ensure a sufficient, reliable and clean source of power, and will give Indian and UK innovators the chance to collaborate and develop long-lasting relationships to address these challenges.
The initiative supports the ambition of Karnataka state, of which Bengaluru is the capital, to make Bengaluru the Electrical Vehicle Capital of India.
Karnataka was the first state in India to introduce a fully-fledged policy dedicated to electric vehicles, the 2017 Karnataka Electric & Energy Storage Policy.
The policy is expected to jump-start the electric mobility sector in Karnataka and attract investments that support making it the top destination in the country for manufacturing electric vehicles.
The state government set the tone by declaring that half of all government-run vehicles in Bengaluru would be converted to electric by 2019, while the department in charge of urban development is amending building bylaws to mandate that 10 to 20 per cent of parking space would be reserved for electric vehicle charging points.
Karnataka plans to set up 750 electric vehicle charging stations across the state, up from the current 200, and is requesting funds from the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India) scheme to roll these out.
Air pollution emerged as an election issue for the first time ever in 2019, with the two main national parties dedicating one paragraph to pollution in each of their manifestos.
India is on a national mission to convert its vehicle fleet to electric mobility, not least to combat life-threatening air pollution in many of its cities, half of which comes from traffic.
By 2030, electric vehicles are expected to account for 29 per cent of the vehicle fleet in India.
Read more: India, UK launch Innovating for Clean Air initiative in Bengaluru
Banner photo by pranab.mund/CC BY-SA 2.0