Members of Parliament have in
the past travelled to the august House on their cycles, scooters, auto
rickshaws, horse carts, fancy cars and what not to grab the attention of the
media. But for the first time, a Minister chose an electric car to drive home the
point that it’s time to encourage electric vehicles and put a halt to the
growing pollution in the country, especially New Delhi.
Since the only company manufacturing
electric cars in India is Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles Pvt Ltd, part of the Mahindra
Group, the choice of course fell on the yet to be launched Mahindra Verito
electric. The car, in fact was launched in the august company of several
Ministers. Union Heavy Industries Minister Anant Geete arrived in Parliament on
December 22, 2016 in this electric sedan.
“I have hired the car for Rs 15,000
per month,” Geete said. Incidentally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a day
earlier gifted a battery-operated bus to the Lok Sabha for the use of its MPs.
The Minister said that the
“Government has a clear policy for all car manufacturers to build electric,
zero-emission cars. So far there is just one company which has made such a car.
Tomorrow, if any other company makes an electric car, I will use that as well.”
Mahindra & Mahindra is the
only car manufacturer in the country pursuing an electric dream. Though it is primarily
a manufacturer of diesel powered sports utility vehicles (SUVs), it recently announced
that it would be launching its first petrol powered compact SUV, the KUV100.
But its foray into electric vehicles got underway in 2010 when it bought an
existing electric car manufacturer in the country, Reva Electric Car Company
and rechristened it Mahindra Reva. The founder of the electric car company
Chetan Maini continues to be associated with the new company.
Through Mahindra Racing, the
group is also pursuing its electric dream by having its own Formula E racing team
and has been taking part in the global FIA Formula E Championship for the last two
After taking over Reva, Mahindras
launched its new car, the Mahindra e2o. Even though the Government's FAME
(Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles) Scheme provides
incentives for generating demand for electric vehicles, the demand for the e2o
has not picked up because of the high price associated with this car and the
lack of popularity of these electric cars in India.
All that sentiment could
change with this new Verito electric car, since it is the size of a full blown
sedan. To begin with, the Members of Parliament and Ministers could show their
commitment towards curbing pollution by purchasing these Verito electric cars. And
also perhaps make electric cars and two-wheelers mandatory for all government
departments. Anyone listening?