New Delhi:

Delhi Transport minister Kailash Gahlot on Sunday urged commercial vehicle owners to convert half of their fleet to electric by 2023, saying a five per cent interest subvention scheme will be soon launched for them.

The Delhi government is working on a plan to allow electric goods carriers to ply on city streets at all hours, he said.

The minister also urged commercial vehicle owners to move from conventional to fully electric vehicle fleets under the 'Switch Delhi' campaign by 2025.

Many companies are eager to switch to electric vehicles but struggling due to lack of financing, he said.

''The Delhi government has taken a pioneering step in reducing the rate of interest by introducing the interest subvention scheme of five per cent which will be offered through the Delhi Finance Corporation (DFC). This scheme is at the advanced stage of drafting and will be announced soon,'' Gahlot said.

The scheme can be availed by all range of vehicles and will ensure easy access of finance to fleet companies willing to upgrade their fleet to electric, he said.

Delhi's Electric Vehicle policy provides the most favourable policy framework across India for commercial vehicles to transition to electric vehicles, including financial incentives, low-interest loan, and exemption from no-entry restrictions, Gahlot said. In the seventh week of 'Switch Delhi' campaign, emphasis will be on creating awareness among commercial vehicle owners operating fleets of two-wheelers, three-wheelers, cab aggregators, goods carriers and freight vehicles – thereby targeting a large group to adopt and promote electric vehicles.

''By switching to electric vehicle, the fleet owners would not only take a step towards ensuring the better air quality in the city but can save up to Rs 22,000 annually by switching to electric fleets,'' he said.

Currently, there is a restriction on goods carriers to ply on the roads of Delhi during peak hours to avoid congestion. To incentivise this transition, the Delhi government has taken the most progressive step under the Delhi electric vehicle policy to allow electric good carriers to ply on the streets of the city at all hours, he said.