Unions want to convert kaali-peelis into electric cars

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With rising fuel costs, taxi unions are considering running electric cars as taxis. The move comes after diesel and CNG prices have risen in recent days.

Recently, taxi fares from both domestic and international terminals at Mumbai Airport have increased. Mumbai taxi unions have had internal discussions about the possibility of introducing electric vehicles in the form of black and yellow taxis. It will be the first time that unions have considered electric cars. Currently, kaali-peelis run on compressed natural gas (CNG), which has pushed prices up to over Rs 54.57 per kg.

“We are considering acquiring electric vehicles and replacing existing ones. However, for the same, we will need the help of the state government in the form of grants and other means. At the moment, we are discussing among ourselves, ”said AL Quadros, trade union leader and taxi trade unionist.

The state government is in the process of converting a significant number of public transport systems to electricity. With the opening of taxi unions to convert their taxis to electric taxis, the scope of the expansion of electric vehicles for public transport has just widened. There are e-auto rickshaws in other parts of the country, but not in Mumbai.

And if taxis are ready to convert, then, according to transport experts, they will also become automatic rickshaws. Officials at the regional transport offices (RTOs) said they had not received any proposals from the unions, but then the granting of subsidies or rebates was up to the state government.

The BEST is already overworked by integrating electric buses into its fleet. On Sunday, they launched 60 e-buses from the Worli depot in the hands of the state tourism minister, Aaditya Thackeray. These will operate on a point-to-point basis from Mumbai Airport. They will purchase 2,100 air-conditioned e-buses for hire with crew that will be part of the fleet until March 2023. These also include 200 AC double-decker e-buses.

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Posted on: Monday October 11, 2021 12:51 am IST


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