After a series of turns and U-turns by the Indian government on electric vehicles it was decided that Niti Aayog will now lead the way to implement electric mobility in India. Now, a task force appointed by Niti Aayog seeks removal of all permit requirements for electric vehicles considering they are clean ways to commute, environment-friendly and its high time government start promoting them.
Task force report on clean transportation published by Niti Aayog says that Electric Vehicles (EVs) present significant opportunity for improvement of air–quality by shifting the emissions from multiple moving sources in the city to point sources where they can be easily managed. The report further recommends eliminating all permit requirements for EVs. This will be a big boost as getting and renewing permits every year is costly and time-consuming. “It would require a change in existing permit regime, at national and state level, safety issues will need deliberation such that they do not impede the success of such intervention,” the report said.
Proposing several recommendations in its action plan for clean transport, The Niti Aayog task force says that all the State Transport Undertakings (STUs) have a strong interest in deploying electric bus fleets. Recently, the department of heavy industry received 47 proposals from 44 cities across 21 states in response to expression of interest inviting proposals. It is now confirmed that Department of Heavy Industry (DHI) received proposals for 3,144 e-buses by STUs in India. This indicates there high interest among STUs for replenishing their fleets with electric buses. It has subsequently been decided by the government in December 2017 that eleven cities including Delhi will be provided financial support for 390 e-buses.
Niti Aayog and CII’s task force recommends an incremental share of EV at +2% per year for the intra-city public buses keeping in mind the affordability to end-users.
Subsidies for Electric Buses in India:
Financial support offered under on-going phase (one) of FAME scheme is Rs 85 Lakh per e-bus (or 60% of the purchase cost, whichever is lower) on 15% localization and Rs 1 crore per e-bus (or 60% of the purchase cost, whichever is lower) on 35% localization. Additionally, an amount equivalent to 10% of the total demand incentives can be availed by STUs for setting up charging infrastructure.
Similarly, realistic targets for service (taxi and bus) aggregators are required. It is important that these targets are not regressive as service aggregators, mainly the taxi aggregators, are already including electric vehicles in their fleet. Similar targets, as recommended for STUs, that is, incremental EV vehicle fleet at +2%/ year can be instituted for system aggregators and may be revised for realistic targets after taking stock of the existing penetration level.
Target two- and 3-wheelers for large-scale adoption of EV technologies:
While there is no fixed policy by the Indian government for EVs, Niti Aayog says that the shift towards EVs will be in a phased manned with Two-wheelers and three-wheelers leading the change. These vehicles have a huge potential for adopting EV technologies. “Two-wheelers are a major concern for air-pollution; especially for the NOx emissions. They are extremely important for last mile connectivity. Technology availability for these segments is high. Hence, they should be targeted for large-scale adoption of EV technologies. Following actions are recommended for this segment, keeping in mind the environmental impacts from the large-scale adoption of EVs” said the report.
It also recommends policy support to battery operated two- or three-wheelers on a priority basis in Delhi NCR. Promote manufacturing of batteries and other parts in India so that country does not become a dumping place for cheap batteries manufactured in China.