Minors may soon be allowed to ride electric scooters in India, according to Union Transport minister Nitin Gadkari who says the government is currently taking the decision under consideration. As of now, under the Motor Vehicle Act of 1988, people between the age of 16 and 18 are allowed to carry a license for scooters that are under 50cc. However, while the legislation exists no such vehicle is being manufactured in the country. In doing so, Gadkari believes that youth will be inclined towards electric two-wheelers in the future.
This should also boost sales of Electric Scooters especially, a market which is yet to have gained any significant traction as yet in India. Despite being easier to use, recharge and service than other electric vehicles.
Aside from this, the government that has been trying to oversee the implementation of an ecosystem for electric vehicles. This includes the approval of distinctive green license plates for electric vehicles with white fonts for private cars and yellow fonts for taxis. "The government has approved distinctive green licence plates for electric vehicles to encourage people to use electric vehicles," Gadkari said.
According to Gadkari, these Green plates will allow electric vehicles to be easily identified, and will be allowed for benefits such as preferential treatment in parking lots, free entry in congested zones among other proposed benefits such as reduced toll charges.
The proposals include bringing down the GST on batteries to 12 per cent at par with the GST on EVs. As per an estimate, India at present has 1 to 1.5 lakh electric vehicles and it is projected to grow to about 5 percent of the total vehicles in the next five years, an official said. Of the about 24 million vehicles sold in India in 2017-18, electric vehicles accounted for barely about 1 percent, the official added. Similarly, all public transport operators may also be mandated to provide 1 per cent incremental fleet from 2020 onwards, he added. The ministry of road transport and highways will also request the finance ministry to keep the depreciation rate at 50 per cent as opposed to 15 per cent on regular vehicles. Current estimates suggest that India at present has 1 to 1.5 lakh electric vehicles and the number is projected to grow to about 5 percent of the total vehicles in the next five years. India sold 24 million vehicles in 2017-2018 and barely one percent of that amount accounted for the total EVs sold.
With Inputs from PTI