Close to 350 electric buses are set to be deployed in five major cities of Andhra Pradesh under a Rs 746-crore-project, the state's Transport and Information and Public Relations ministry said. In the first phase of the project, buses will be deployed in cities including Tirupati, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Kakinada and Amaravati.
This, however, is not the first step taken towards electric mobility by the Andhra Pradesh government. Ahead of this, the state became the first one to publicly announce an extensive electric vehicle policy to curb pollution where it announced to stop registration of petrol and diesel cars by 2024 and put 10 lakh electric vehicles on the road in the next five years. The announcement to stop ICE car registration in the state will be implemented in the upcoming de facto capital of Amaravati. The new EV policy will attract an investment of Rs 30,000 Crore and the government has announced a state grant of Rs 500 Crore for EV R&D. Andhra government is also hoping to put 1 million electric vehicles on the roads of Amaravati by 2024.
Mahesh Babu, CEO, Mahindra Electric, said, "Industry needs a clear direction and MSME will invest only if there is a clear policy. Green number plates for electric vehicles, no permits for three-wheelers are a good move, we just need to implement the national and state EV policy it in action and I'm sure Andhra will have 1 million EVs in by 2024." He further added,
"Public transport and fleet operators need to shift to EVs before personal buyers get into it. Three-wheelers moving to electric will benefit both riders and users. It is economically viable for giving more savings and the benefiting environment with zero-emissions." N. Chandrababu Naidu-led government aims to convert the entire fleet of Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) into electric vehicles. All government vehicles will also be converted to electric vehicles by 2024. The government also plans to set up 1 lakh slow and fast EV charging stations by 2024.