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Electric two wheelers and three wheelers can be sold without a battery

MoRTH now permits sale and registration of Electric Vehicles without the battery

While it seems absurd at first, the move is in fact a clever one. If one moves beyond comparing an EV to a mobile phone, then the battery conundrum is clearer to understand. The battery cost from hereon is to be compared with potential fuel expense over a comparable period. What this does is makes the EV more affordable, and at a comparable price to ICE vehicles.

A green signal from Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) means one can register a new EV without the cost of pre-fitted batteries factored in. A letter to Transport Secretaries outlines sale of EVs without batteries. Registration of the same is guided by type approval certificate issued by the Test Agency.

Furthermore, for the purpose of registration, there’s no requirement to specify Make/Type or any other battery details. While such specifications are not mandated. what is required is type approved products by test Agencies specified under Rule 126 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.

Bajaj Chetak electric scooter
Bajaj Chetak electric scooter. Image for reference.

Which means, the prototype of the electric vehicle, and the battery (regular battery or the swappable battery) need to be type approved. The policy expands on making EVs accessible to one and all, and needs to be supported with dependable EV infra that lets EV owners charge and swap batteries as required.

Announcements in the recent past has outlined vehicle electrification goals but blueprints on how these targets are to be achieved are difficult to access, and thereby understand. Across the EV spectrum, especially where two wheelers and scooters are concerned, the presence of new manufacturers piques interest, but electric two-wheeler sales remain limited.

DELHI EV Policy 2020

The recently announced Delhi EV policy on paper appears to be a push in the right direction. The state is committed to creating a special arm to make decisions regarding EVs, and also fund such projects. Delhi will approve subsidies and waivers for all EV purchases, and look into charging infra development among other aspects that can help ease EV adaption.

There’s a notion that EV adaption will help reduce vehicular pollution, and will have far reaching effects in environment protection. The oil import bill will also benefit with reduction of oil imports. To reach such a goal, it’s imperative that the fledgeling Indian EV industry gathers steam. To promote and encourage use of electrical two-wheelers and three-wheeler vehicles, delinking cost of battery is a new approach.

MoRTH takes into account the fact that 30-40 percent of total vehicle cost is in reality battery cost. With vehicles now permitted to be sold without the battery, the Ministry perceives that upfront cost of electric 2 wheelers (2W) and 3 wheelers (3W) would be lower than ICE 2W and 3W retail price. Of course, the battery will most likely be purchased or rented from the OEM separately, or as proposed, by the energy service provider.

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