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Electric Vehicles pilot launched for rural women entrepreneurs SIDBI

Electric Vehicles pilot launched for rural women entrepreneurs

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 30 Jan 2024, 11:47 pm

New Delhi: The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), in collaboration with the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) have launched a first-of-its-kind rural e-mobility demonstration pilot supporting women entrepreneurs.

The pilot aims to increase transportation equity, improve air quality, and enhance rural livelihoods through the adoption of EVs.

The beneficiaries for this pilot were selected based on multiple criteria, including vehicle ownership status, basic driving skills, access to clean energy sources for EV charging, regular long-distance travel habits, commuting expenses, and vehicle use for livelihood improvement.

Electric two-wheelers were handed over to these women entrepreneurs in Anand district, Gujarat and Dungarpur district, Rajasthan.

Speaking about the initiative, Dr. R.K. Singh, Chief General Manager, SIDBI, said, “EV Ecosystem is being strengthened by us in urban cities by directlysupporting as also through adequate, timely and competitive funds availability to dedicate NBFCs financing EVs. The approach includes supporting different models, empanelling OEMs, capacity building of financing communities, and some of the key steps.

SIDBI is taking initiatives to connect smaller towns and religious circuits. The unique attempt is aimed at empowering rural areas.

SIDBI is providing support to the identified SEWA sisters for demonstrating the pilot use of electric vehicles for commercial purposes. These EV ambassadors would serve as examples for others to emulate and adopt.

SIDBI’s flagship EV scheme, 50KEV4ECO, would be instrumental in scaling EV penetration in the rural part of the country.

Nearly two-thirds of the Indian population reside in rural India, where motorized transport has predominantly been two-wheelers.

“NRDC has been working with women in rural India through its partners for over a decade to enhance access to clean energy solutions,” said
Dipa Singh Bagai, Country Head, NRDC India.

Pilots such as these are critical to building the confidence of rural communities in EVs and show how an equitable and just transition to clean transport can be achieved. It also has the potential to inform policymakers on what kind of policy levers and business models are required to support the transition to clean mobility in rural areas, she added.

National two-wheeler sales reached nearly 16 million units in the fiscal year ending March 2023, of which rural areas contributed to around 55% of sales. In that light, mobility solutions for rural areas assume high significance.

Speaking to this, Reema Nanavaty, Director, SEWA said, “Today, the purchase of these Electrical Vehicles by our younger members leads to green asset creation in the name of women, brings freedom of mobility, and strengthens their livelihoods. We at SEWA call it climate justice and second freedom for our members.”

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