The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has announced that it will now allow the sale and registration of electric vehicles without pre-fitted batteries. The Ministry has clarified and notified the same to all the states and union territories in a letter stating that vehicles without batteries will be acceptable for sale and registration moving forward. However, the ministry also stated that the registrations will be dependant on the type approval certificate issued by the Test Agency and also no specifications like Make/Type or other details will be required to register the vehicle apart from the motor number. Having said that, the prototype vehicle and the batteries (traditional or swappable) itself will have to be approved by the test agencies under Rule 126 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.
For the process, the states and UTs have been informed that the FORM-21 (Sale certificate), FORM -22 (Roadworthiness certificate issued by the manufacturer) and FORM-22-A (Roadworthiness certificate issued for Motor vehicles where fabrication of the body is done separately) have been modified to accommodate the new regulation which will be required for Rule 47 (Application for registration of Motor Vehicles) of the CMVR 1989, clearly specifying engine number/electric motor number of the vehicle.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in the statement said that the Indian government is striving to create an ecosystem to accelerate the uptake of electric mobility in India. The government is trying to seek ways to reduce vehicular pollution and oil import bill and it hopes that it will eventually provide opportunities to the sunrise industry.
The rule is designed more towards the promotion of electric two-wheelers and three-wheeler vehicles. The purpose and the benefit of accepting vehicles being sold without batteries will help delink the cost of the battery which constitutes for 30-40% of the total vehicle cost. The ministry hopes that this will bring down the electric vehicle’s cost to purchase and bring them at par with an internal combustion engine-powered two-wheeler and three-wheeler counterparts. This would allow OEMs or service providers to provide batteries separately.
Having the battery being sold separately could allow the option to consumers who use swappable battery electric vehicles the freedom to either purchase a battery from the OEM directly, a third party or even if available in a subscription form. While the cost of the battery will be present at a later stage of the vehicle purchase in one form or another, the success of this model will only be determined by how the consumers embrace the mobility option.
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