By Elton Gomes
In an effort to combat air pollution, the Delhi government on Tuesday released its draft “Electric Vehicle Policy 2018”, which aims to have at least 25 per cent e-vehicles among new registrations by 2023.
Speaking on the policy, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said, “About 30 per cent of particulate pollution in winter is caused by vehicles. A rapid adoption of zero-emission electric vehicles is therefore of great importance to Delhi.” Gahlot also assured that at least 500 electric buses would be introduced in Delhi in 2019.
Through this policy, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government plans to create a significant corpus of funds to incentivise every vehicle segment.
“All incentives are in addition to the incentive offered by the Government of India as part of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME) and any subsequent amendments thereof,” Gahlot’s office said in a statement, as per the IANS report.
An additional fee on non-electric vehicles has been suggested. The bulk of the corpus will be funded through this fee.
Charging stations every 3 kilometres
With a view to boost e-mobility in Delhi, the government plans develop charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. It plans to have charging points at every 3 kilometres, while the draft policy also offers a subsidy of 100 per cent (up to Rs 30,000) to set up charging points (for the first 10,000 points) in Delhi.
Furthermore, cab aggregators such as Ola and Uber will also be encouraged to use electric taxis and electric autos through a cashback offer. Ola and Uber can also avail rebates for first mile and last mile trips from metro stations. This will reduce the cost of travel by 20 per cent.
How much subsidy will be offered?
“The Delhi government will offer a subsidy up to Rs 22,000 on purchase of e-two wheelers to ensure their cost is less than or equal to petrol two wheelers. Government Electric two-wheeler taxis will be allowed to provide last mile connectivity and Scrapping Incentive of up to Rs 15,000 on old BS II and BS III two wheelers,” the draft report said, India Today reported.
In addition, the policy will also allow open permit system for e-autos in Delhi. Individual e-auto owners will receive down payment subsidy of up to Rs 12,500 and 5 per cent interest subvention – a subsidy offered on interest rates. Passengers using e-autos will get cashback up to Rs 10 per trip.
“Government plans to promote more e-rickshaws for mile connectivity offering individual e-rickshaw owners. They will get payment subsidy up to Rs 20,000 and 5 per cent interest subvention. To reduce carbon emission govt [sic] offers full waiver on registration fees, road tax and MCD one-time parking fee for elecric cabs and cashback for passengers using e-cabs up to Rs 10 per trip,” the report mentioned, as per the India Today report.
Besides public transport, the Delhi government will offer subsidy up to Rs 20,000 for the first 5,000 e-scooters with advanced, swappable batteries for electric goods carriage.
PM Modi says government will soon release EV policy
In September, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that the government would soon come out with a policy on electric vehicles and alternative fuel technology to bolster e-mobility in India.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the first Global Mobility Summit (MOVE), which was organised by Niti Aayog. Modi was addressing an audience that included global leaders such as Suzuki Motor chairman Osamu Suzuki, Toyota Motor chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada, ABB chief executive Ulrich Spiesshofer, and Bosch’s Volkmar Denner.
“The world is now in the middle of a new mobility revolution” and India has “inherent advantages” to make the most of this opportunity, Modi had said, as per a report in the Economic Times.
Urging industrialists and global business leaders to create a “new mobility ecosystem” that is in “sync with nature”, Modi said that India could be the best place for the rapidly evolving technology.
The proposed electric vehicle policy would support automakers in raising the production of battery-powered and alternate-fuel vehicles, as part of efforts to cut down the rising oil import bill.
India aims for 15 percent EVs in next five years
India aims to have at least 15 per cent electric vehicles on its roads in five years. “If at least 15% comes in the next five years, it will be useful for the country,” Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari said in September, Bloomberg reported. Gadkari’s comments came at a conference organised by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers in New Delhi.
India has been lagging in the global race towards electrification of vehicles. The absence of a clear policy seems to be holding India back.
Also, India’s transition to e-mobility might differ from other countries since India’s car ownership per 1,000 citizens is just 20, compared to 800 in the US. The Indian electric vehicle dream may not lay in private cars, but in scooters and/or electric public transit buses, which again would require a focused government policy.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius.