Pune: Maharashtra’s Tourism and Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray inaugurated the first edition of Alternate Fuel Conclave (AFC) in Pune’s Sinchan Nagar Saturday.
“Pune will lead the electric vehicle (EV) revolution and the rest will follow,” said the state environment minister while addressing the media after the event.
The conclave, an initiative taken by the state government, was jointly organised by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and the Marhatta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA).
Along with Thackeray, Additional Chief Secretary (Transport and Ports) Ashish Kumar Singh, MIDC CEO P. Anbalagan, MPCB Member Secretary Ashok Shingare, Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) CEO Suhas Diwase, Pune Municipal Corporation Commissioner Vikram Kumar, Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation Commissioner Rajesh Patil, MCCIA President Sudhir Mehta and Director-General Prashant Girbane, and other dignitaries were present in the event.
During the exhibition, Thackeray interacted with several entrepreneurs and launched six electric vehicles by various companies as well as EKA bus by Pinnacle Industries.
“We are working on alternate fuels like EVs, biofuel and hydrogen fuel-based mobility and in this context, we have organised this conclave in Pune. Citizens willing to buy E-cycles, bikes, cars can just walk in and buy the vehicles. The exhibition also has stalls by banks for financial assistance and Regional Transport Office (RTO) to provide on the spot registrations,” Thackeray said.
Noting that Pune has traditionally been an automotive and manufacturing hub, the Maharashtra minister said, “Most of the startups and big companies have production facilities in and around Pune. Several companies are planning to expand and start new production facilities in Maharashtra and for them we have kept a stall of MIDC here. Industries coming in Chakan, Talegaon and new electric vehicles being launched in Pune is certainly a big thing for all of us.”
Thackeray also said the EV rally, which was scheduled for Sunday, will help us beat the range-anxiety which we all have in our minds.
Commenting on the safety in electric vehicles, Thackeray stated, “All EVs that are plying on roads come with safety checks from (Automotive Research Association of India) ARAI and other bodies.
“There will be some issues, but safety will be taken care of by all companies. EV industry has seen exponential growth in last two years”.
Highlighting the reduced expenses on fuel requirement for city buses in major municipal corporations across Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena leader said it has happened because of the induction of electric buses, which he said, will become profitable in next two or three years.
On developing the charging infrastructure, Thackeray said, “EV percolation is happening in Maharashtra, and we will see large number of charging stations coming up in the state in the near future.”
“The battery technology is also advancing rapidly, and we are making it mandatory for offices, malls and commercial complexes to have 30 per cent of their parking slots with charging points,” he added.
Pune’s Alternate Fuel Conclave is bringing together stakeholders across the ecosystem and will focus on raising awareness about the need for clean mobility. The conference will highlight existing initiatives by the government, private players, and civil society organisations, and help discuss the way forward for clean mobility in the state.