What’s Stopping Pune From Switching To Electric?

Petrol or EVs in Pune
Image used for representation only

The soaring fuel prices coupled with the alarming air pollution levels in the city, have now forced citizens to look at alternate means of transport for their daily commute. 

Pune’s penchant to adopt newer technologies makes it the perfect city to switch to electric vehicles. However, infrastructure in terms of charging stations need to be put in place. The current costs of electric vehicles are considerably high and that is the yet another deterrent for prospective buyers.

We spoke to informed citizens to understand their views and concerns on switching to e-vehicles: 

Col. (Retd) Shashikant Dalvi: I have seen several battery-operated vehicles, especially three wheelers, being used effectively in other parts of the country, when they can work with it efficiently, then why cannot Pune.

Quite a few cities have taken this up and provided various charging points for vehicle owners. This is a basic necessity.

There are only a handful of e-vehicle manufacturers in India and the subsidy offered is also not large enough to encourage people to shift to electric. Considering the environment impact, the Government should also give a relief on import duties to encourage people to shift to these vehicles.

The e-vehicles are also priced very high resulting in people opting to buy larger petrol vehicles for the same price.

You need to adopt this from an overall perspective and provide necessary facilities like parking and charging points. The government plans to convert their bus fleet to all e-powered but where is the basic infrastructure to make this work?

Soneji CM, Proprietor- Madhu Automobiles- (Authorised Service Station for Electric cars) says, “The number of e-vehicles are increasing but at a slow pace.

People are getting more conscious of the need to protect the environment and are now opting for electric vehicles but customers have reservations like availability of mechanics to handle these vehicles etc.

These vehicles are ideal for commutes within the city considering the current lack of charging infrastructure. But once these charging points are introduced, they can be taken for long distance trips. They are as comfortable as any other car. 

Some of my customers mentioned that they haven’t received any subsidy on buying these cars as promised. Road tax is exempt though, but it is still expensive though it has a very positive impact on protecting our environment.

A fully charged battery can go up to 110-120 KM, depending on how old the battery is and how it is driven.

The battery and other parts should be made cheaper and people should be made aware of how best to manage it.

Dhananjay Paranjape, Businessman and cycling enthusiast: I have been using a cycling e-assist that helps me to reduce the pressure and effort to cycle uphill with the help of a charger and battery.

The pressure to peddle the cycle reduces to almost 50-70% and thus can be easily taken uphill, or on difficult terrain. Some of my friends have installed the cycling assist to their normal cycles and take it to work rather than bikes or cars and travel multiple kilometres without any difficulty.

Deepa Yadav, an administrator: I would have loved to buy an electric car but I do not think they are very user friendly.

In a petrol/ diesel car, we can go out for a drive or any other places without a second thought but here one has to worry about places to charge it.

Also, when we want to invest in a vehicle we look at everything and what value you get for the money. Yes, it is good for the environment but I would rather take public transport than spend 5-7 lakhs to buy an electric car.

In our opinion, The Government of Maharashtra ought to champion this cause and help Pune make the switch and become truly a #SmartCity! 


Loveleen Kaur

Loveleen Kaur

She loves travelling, dogs, sarcasm, humour and anything that spells F O O D, in that order. A writer on a journey to make positive stories a morning ritual and give society what it needs the most - optimism !!

Reach her at loveleen@pune365.com or tweet @KaurKaur18
Loveleen Kaur