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Indian govt must announce long term plan for electric mobility: Union Budget 2016-17

Last year, in Union budget 2015-16, Central government announced FAME India (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles in India) policy for faster adoption of green vehicles here. NEMMP plans for pollution and crude oil consumption reduction through electric two wheelers and small cars. Sohinder Gill, Director, Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) says electric vehicle sales hasn’t been anything to write home about.

India’s fuel import dependency and vehicular pollution situation needs to be addressed through electric vehicles and related infra. Union budget 2016-17 could have a positive outlook to this trend.

Mild hybrid vehicles have a smaller effect on emissions and crude oil consumption. However, its ease of implementation has helped secure a large share of FAME incentive. Manufacturers are increasingly launching mild hybrids. This pattern has fuelled a false sense of achievement in regards to ‘major reduction in emissions’ and ‘crude oil consumption’ in the NEMMP policy.

Electric vehicles offer a real solution for low emissions and reduced crude oil consumption and should have been prioritised over hybrids. Such efforts have failed, and the EV mission is being triumphed by hybrids. For the mission to be goal oriented, govt and industry needs to make efforts to put about 1 million electric vehicles on Indian roads within a year.

Sohinder Gill of SMEV says customers need to convert to EVs. The multitude of two-wheelers used in commercial applications should be electric bikes by mandate.

Taking cue from London, he suggests taxes be levied on fuel cars used in parts of cities that are made out of bound for polluting vehicles. Government needs to announce long-term commitment to electric mobility and not keep those involved guessing. Investments can only be secured based on 5 to 10 years clear policy and outlay.

Electric vehicle segment growth needs to be encouraged through better coordination between various ministries and departments. Custom offices compel electric two-wheeler manufacturers to pay 5 times the import duty on a drive motor by listing it a rim and not an electric motor. This despite GoI allowing concessional import duty on electric/ electronic components which aren’t yet developed in India.

Public charging infrastructure installations in about 100 cities will support electric vehicles. The budget should encourage infrastructure support in the impending year. Union budget should direct public banks to offer loans for electric vehicle purchases. About 60 percent of auto purchases are facilitated through financing but EV’s don’t benefit from such policies.

Government and public sector offices introduce electric vehicles to their fleet and offer incentives for purchases to encourage employees to purchase EVs.

Ather S340 Made in India electric scooter – Photos

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