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The Automotive Skill Development Council (ASDC), supported by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA), Federation of Automobile Dealers Association (FADA), have forged a strategic partnership with the Government of India and the Social Justice Department of the Government of Maharashtra.

The collaboration aims to train 50,000 women under the PM EV2Solar Project for Social Justice, providing access to solar energy and electric vehicles (EVs) at 30% of the vehicle cost, with 70% funding support through state schemes.

Ramdas Athawale, Union Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment Govt of India (MOSJ&E) said, “Such vehicles will be distributed to socially disadvantaged women through Government of India and Government of Maharashtra schemes, empowering them with mobility and economic opportunities.”

The Solar2EV initiative envisions a future of innovation, inclusivity, and sustainable development, reflecting the commitment to uplift marginalised communities. “As we embark on the Solar2EV journey, we envision a future where innovation and opportunity intersect to uplift the marginalised. This initiative reflects our unwavering commitment to fostering inclusive growth and sustainable development, empowering communities across Maharashtra and beyond,” added Athawale.

Vinkesh Gulati, Vice-President, ASDC added, “ASDC is at the heart of empowering societal change, particularly for women, through our dedicated efforts in the Solar2EV initiative. By focusing on skill development and corporate engagement, we’re not just opening up opportunities in Maharashtra’s growing EV and solar sectors; we’re ensuring that women are at the forefront of this transformative journey.”

The partnership seeks CSR contributions from Corporate India, especially the Automotive Industry, to establish solar-to-EV connections across Maharashtra. The Solar2EV initiative aims to create job opportunities in the first- and last-mile mobility sectors, benefiting the e-commerce industry. Stakeholders like Amazon, Flipkart, and ride-hailing applications are encouraged to leverage social justice funds for innovative solutions.

A task force, led by Social Justice Commissioner Om Prakash Bhakoria and Randheer Singh, Former Director at NITI Aayog, will focus on creating socially sustainable products through ASDC’s skill development programs. Bhakoria mentioned, “Initiatives of this nature are essential for ensuring equitable distribution of opportunities among socially and economically disadvantaged groups in society.”

The Union Minister also flagged off Solar2EV- Women’s EV electric mobility rally marking the commencement of the Solar2EV initiative.

The project features a mix of vehicles and iconic brands supporting the cause. Leading experts form the automotive industry like Forsee Consulting and some of India’s largest two-wheeler to electric bus OEMs that have evinced interest to be a part of this program.

This include the likes of PMI Electromobility, Saera Auto, Omega Seiki Mobility, Revin Services, Sun Mobility, Mahindra Last Mile Mobility, Kinetic Green and Citroen C2 fleet cars from Stellantis with a common view that such collaborations will propel the country on a journey lit by clean energy, fostering economic empowerment and social inclusion which contributes to nations collective well-being.

Sameer Agarwal, Founder & CEO, RevFin said, “Women have embraced opportunities in EV financing, transcending traditional gender roles with some of them becoming the primary bread winners of their households. I reaffirm RevFin’s dedication to celebrating women through such initiatives, and our program Stree Shakti, which we recently announced is in line with the government’s vision. By emphasising on the crucial role of financial literacy, I urge women to seize control of their financial destinies for a brighter future.”

Revfin has facilitated financing for over 40,000 E-rickshaws by extending loans to more than 10,000 women across the nation.  

Uday Narang, Founder & Chairman, Omega Seiki Mobility said, “At Omega Seiki Mobility, we believe in the transformative power of NariShakti – the strength and resilience of women. By providing 3,000 electric passenger E3W Stream City vehicles for women-run initiatives, we aim to empower and celebrate the incredible contributions of women in our society. This initiative is a testament to our commitment to fostering a more inclusive and sustainable future, where the wheels of progress are driven by the indomitable spirit of NariShakti.”

The Solar2EV project, integrating with social justice schemes, aims to create 1 lakh new jobs, especially in cargo delivery powered by EVs.

Randheer Singh, Co-Founder, Forsee Consulting added, “Cargo delivery powered by EVs marks a seismic shift, as with solar it will push more money in the hands of the gig workers as they will save in electricity bills, while heralding a new chapter in sustainable urban mobility.”

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