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The Indian government might be working on developing electric highways. According to Union Minster for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, the government is working on the development of electric highways. These highways will help charge compatible electric buses and trucks while they are on the move.
India is one of the few countries that are fast-tracking electric mobility. The Indian government has in the past introduced many schemes and policies that help electric vehicle buyers and manufacturers. Apart from incentivizing the purchase of electric vehicles, the Indian government has also introduced schemes and policies for the setting up of charging infrastructure.
While the charging infrastructure is being developed and set up across the country, it seems like the government has had other ideas to further develop electric mobility in India. The latest and most ambitious plan yet is to set up electric highways in certain sectors.
The concept of electric highways has been around for a while now. It drew inspiration from the railways where an extension from the electric locomotive reaches out to the high voltage cables above it, thereby giving the electric motors a constant supply of electricity.
In Europe, several stretches of electric highways are already functional where high voltage overhead electric cables power heavy-duty electric trucks from the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Scania, etc. Now, it seems like the MoRTH (Ministry of Road Transport & Highways) has taken inspiration from the electric highways in Europe.
At an event organised by Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC, Union Minister for Road Transport & Higways, Nitin Gadkari said, "The government is strongly encouraging solar and wind energy-based charging mechanisms for electric mobility. We are also working on developing electric highways which will be powered by solar energy and this will facilitate charging of heavy trucks and buses while running."
Not much is known about when and where exactly the government plans to implement these highways, but we can expect an announcement of a pilot project in the coming months.
Thoughts On Nitin Gadkari Announcing The Development Of Electric Highways In India
It was only a few days ago that the Delhi-Jaipur electric highway trial run was flagged off. This electric highway though only features proper charging infrastructure and economic and commercial development alongside the highway. A proper electric highway will feature overhead cables and these high-voltage cables come with their own challenges. It remains to be seen how the Indian government will achieve this feat.