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Can Solar Energy power Pod Taxis in India?

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Pod Taxis – India

India is slowly but steadily turning towards energy efficiency. After its massive target to install 100 GW of solar power by 2022, the country is now pod-taxislooking at running pod taxis. The vehicles in India are the largest source of harmful gaseous emissions and also cause huge traffic problem. The country has received bids from several firms even including some foreign firms for the same. The first project is expected to start in Gurgaon near New Delhi. The INR 4000 crore pod taxis also called Metrino is expected to be approximately 13 km in length and can carry 5-6 people.

Related story: Why was it important for India to ratify the Paris Agreement.

Now the biggest question is the amount of electricity required to power these pods. Gurgaon is definitely not famous for power. The so called millennium city though receiving the largest amount of tax payers’ money, lacks the adequate amount of electricity for its people. The city was supposed to get the country’s first smart grid, ensuring 24×7 power. However, the process keeps getting delayed on account of its tendering process. Gurgaon already has a large amount of dependence on diesel powered generators for its electricity requirements. The country needs a major overhaul to upgrade its power infrastructure systems.

“Gurgaon’s smart grid project will be a first of its kind in India, and serve as an example for projects elsewhere,” said Union Power Minister.

Solar Power in Gurgaon – Haryana

The city has turned to be a major employment hub in the country and hundreds of thousands of people come here looking for a living. With the city already under major power crunch, it is going to be interesting to see the successful implementation and running of these pod taxis here. The state having such an aggressive plan and without proper power infrastructure needs to fall upon solar power to satisfy its power needs. Haryana receives high solar insolation, however lacks far behind in terms of solar installations when compared to the other states in India. The state did not install a single megawatt of solar power in between May 2015 and January 2016. The total solar installation was 12.8 MW as of January 2016.

The government of Haryana has allowed individuals to install grid connected rooftop solar power plants of capacity between from 1kW and 1 MW under net metering regulations. The generated power is eligible to be sold either to a third party or to the grid. Approximately 1600 MW of rooftop solar is to be installed by the year 2021-22, under the Haryana Solar Power Policy-2016. However the state of power and solar is still in doldrums in Haryana.

Though it will be a welcome sight to see these pod taxis run in Gurgaon, I am very doubtful of their operation. Agreed that these taxis will solve the traffic and pollution problem in Gurgaon, but they would need a large amount of electricity to run. Solar power appears to be the knight in shining armour to save the state of power in Gurgaon. The capital cost of running these pods comes out at INR 250 crore for each kilometre. Solar energy could also offer a more reasonable approach to solving this problem, with prices falling ach month. Moreover this also gives the state an opportunity to install solar power and contribute towards India’s humongous target of installing ~17 GW of solar power each year.

Also read Solar Power from MP to drive New Delhi Metro Trains.





Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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