In New Delhi: The Army has decided to utilise electric vehicles, including sedans, buses, and motorcycles, in places designated as peace stations because the Modi government has consistently pushed for clean energy.
New plans call for 25% of light vehicles (cars), 38% of buses, and 48% of motorcycles at peace stations to switch from fossil fuel to electric mode.
According to insiders in the defence industry, the Indian Army’s employability, remote locations, and operational commitments were considered to arrive at a definite time-bound road map.
They stated that when determining the demand, consideration had been given to the operational role of the sites during operations and the quantity of vehicles needed to be stored for that duty.
Globally, militaries are considering EV or hybrid versions of a variety of current vehicles, including tanks. For the US Army, numerous American businesses are developing hybrid and all-electric vehicles.
According to defence sources, India has become one of the countries most likely to surpass the global goals for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and 2070.
“Many projects are being implemented to reduce the carbon emissions and dependency on fossil fuels. Introduction of Electric Vehicles (EVs) are considered as one of the effective steps in that direction,” a source said.
According to the sources, the Army has developed a roadmap to incorporate EVs wherever practical given its operational obligations, which will dramatically reduce emissions and reliance on fossil fuels.
“Keeping in view the necessity and employability of EVs over various terrains, the Army will equip a few units located in peace stations with EVs sequentially. Around 25% light vehicles, 38% buses and 48% motor cycles of the selected units/formations will be changed to EVs with adequate charging infrastructure,” an Army note said.
According to sources, the Army is also buying EVs through the capital budget method, which entails taking them out of the budgetary allotment designated for equipment modernization and replacement.
For the initial phase, the plan calls for buying electric buses for a few chosen peace facilities to address the current bus shortage.
According to the sources, an Open Tender Enquiry (OTE) for the purchase of 60 electric buses and 24 fast chargers will be put out soon.
When asked if the Army has built the necessary infrastructure to accommodate these changes, sources responded that on-board EV charging stations are being installed in the parking lots of office buildings and apartment buildings.
These charging stations will include two to three slow chargers in addition to at least one fast charger.
According to the sources, in order to reduce the carbon footprint of these EVs to almost nil, electric circuit cables and transformers with sufficient load bearing capacity are being installed. Phased-in solar-powered charging stations are also being developed.
The Army is anticipating that the introduction of these vehicles would provide the necessary impetus for creating the ecosystem required for further EV adoption by the Armed Forces.
In addition to this, the Army has already begun utilising EVs as part of Civil Hired Transport (CHT). According to the authorities, stations like Delhi Cantonment have already installed charging stations for EVs that will be subsequently recruited or inducted.
The Army organised an electric vehicle display in front of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in April of this year.
Companies that produce electric vehicles, including Tata Motors, Perfect Metal Industries (PMI), and Revolt Motors, displayed their collections and highlighted the advancements in technology and operating range made in recent years.