In a recent draft notification issued by Nitin Gadkari led Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) states that the Motor Vehicles Act 1989 will further have a new law that will allow retro-fitment or aftermarket treatment of a hybrid or an electric system of existing vehicles. The government has further asked for suggestions and objections for this proposal and a permanent notification along with specifications will be issued later. The draft says that for an electric or a hybrid vehicle to have aftermarket fitment will be done as per the gross weight of the vehicle and will be divided further into three categories and shall be in line with AIS-123 standards.
MoRTH in the draft said that cars and small goods carriers with a gross weight of fewer than 3,500 kilograms will get a Hybrid Electric System (HES). Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), a government-appointed body in a 2013 report had defined HES as a combination of components added by automakers or suppliers to the base of the vehicle that will result in Hybrid Electric operation without modification/change/fuel type of base vehicle powertrain and base vehicle configuration.
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The second category is for SUVs and above 4-meter vehicles with weight more than 3,500 kgs and then there will be a separate provision under CMRV (THE CENTRAL MOTOR VEHICLES RULES) that will allow the entire IC engine to be replaced by an electric motor operation. These retro fitments of vehicles will be done via authorized service centres.
Automakers and suppliers will need to get separate approvals from ARAI and Government for this approved hybrid and electric retro fitment. When implemented, this will further disrupt the Indian carmarket but will also help in reducing emissions and will give a new life to vintage cars.