Owners of diesel-powered vehicles older than ten years old now have a way to bypass the NGTs ban
Earlier last year, to keep vehicular emissions in check in the wake of rising air pollution in Delhi-NCR, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had imposed an order which banned diesel-powered vehicles older than ten years and petrol-powered cars older than fifteen years.
This came as a huge jolt for people who owned old vehicles, especially those running on oil burners since thousands of vehicles in Delhi-NCR became non-operational all of a sudden. However, the Delhi Government has introduced a new ruling which would offer relief to such consumers.
Old Diesel Cars Ban – EV Retrofitting
As per the new order, diesel vehicles older than 10 years can continue to ply in the National Capital Region (NCR) provided these vehicles convert to fully electric powertrain. This development has been confirmed by Transport Minister of Delhi, Kailash Gahlot, through his Twitter account. The latest ruling from the Delhi Government effectively bypasses the earlier order by NGT which banned diesel vehicles older than 10 years in Delhi-NCR.
While this step will not only help owners of old diesel cars to continue using the vehicles, it would also help develop the EV aftermarket business ecosystem. However, there is no clarity as of now if this order also applies to petrol-powered cars older than fifteen years in Delhi. There are also certain criteria to be fulfilled before this order comes into effect.
Delhi department of transport will first have to empanel manufacturers of pure electric kits by approved testing agencies. Further, makers of retrofitted EV kits will also have to receive individual certification for each model they make a kit for. Once empanelled, this will enable vehicles to continue plying on NCR roads beyond the stipulated ten years.
This move is welcomed by almost all quarters while some are still skeptical about some of the provisions. Various kit makers have stated that certification should be universal like it is for CNG and not for each model since it would entail a lot of time and money, which would be borne by the makers themselves.
Relief for electric LCVs
Apart from this, the Delhi transport minister also revealed that battery-powered Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) will be allowed entry on around 250 roads during no entry hours. This will specifically cater to only L5N and N1 categories of LCVs. The Delhi Government believes that this step will help boost demand for all-electric LCVs by transport companies operating in and around Delhi.
Battery-powered LCVs have already witnessed a 95 percent hike since introduction of Delhi’s EV Policy last year. In Delhi, there are about 38 lakhs overaged vehicles that are technically ineligible to ply on roads as per the NGT and Supreme Court’s order. Out of these, 35 lakh are petrol-powered vehicles and around 3 lakh vehicles run on oil burners that are older than ten years.