Policies for easier electric vehicle adoption in India

The electric vehicle industry should progress in a smoother fashion and for that the government has to bring in a few procedural changes.

By:Updated: Mar 19, 2020 5:59 PM

Multiple initiatives have been taken by the Government of India to promote manufacturing as well as the adoption of EVs. This has led to increased penetration of EVs in the Indian market. The significant requirements for accelerated adoption of EVs call for the need for adequate infrastructure, regulations, and policies. This can be encouraged further by proposing and enabling framework. The regulations and policies under this framework should enable faster adoption of EVs in India by ensuring an affordable, reliable, safe and accessible eco-system as well as infrastructure (considered herein as the main objective).

Current Scenario

Many states in India are racing ahead through policy groundwork, boosting the adoption of EVs. The popular ones amongst these are National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020, Scheme for faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India), as well as EV@30 campaign. This is because there is a dire need to shift to clean mobility as vehicular pollution is inflicting much damage to the environment. EVs are thus becoming popular due to varied reasons such as lower maintenance costs, cheaper fuel cost, eco-friendliness and few more. People are willing to make the sensible switch to EVs, provided there is a required infrastructure in place. Policies that govern and support research development, charging infrastructure and skill development incentives need to be undertaken.

Policies and regulation to be considered

Various regulations and policies can be introduced that can further fuel the adoption of EV in the country. To start with, it is significant to have a policy to create a conducive environment for the transition from Internal Combustion Engines to EVs. Regulations that focus on developing research and development for EVs are important to be introduced. This would lead to effective and fuel-efficient manufacturing of EVs in the long run.

Industrial land for EVs

It is understood that there would be the increasing importance of policies and regulations that make industrial land available for EV manufacturing zones. With the rising number of EV companies, easy availability of land at subsidy would be an immediate push.

Special incubation centre

Business models focused on EVS can be developed and encouraged by starting an incubation centre for EVs. Initiatives for collecting a venture capital fund for research in EV sector need to be promoted. Policies can be framed for exemption of tax payments of electric vehicles such as e-rickshaws and e-carts.

Regulations to promote EV adoption in public transport

Though the market is still nascent, but in the long run, even public transportation needs to be included in the gamut. Further policies need to be framed to provide incentives to shift corporate fleets, cabs, public transport systems, and auto-rickshaws into EVs. Waiving auto-rickshaw permits, parking fees, registration charges and road tax for e-autos should be encouraged. The adoption of electric good carriers should be encouraged.

Charging infrastructure

Appropriate policies and regulations need to be framed for charging infrastructure in public and private places, through subsidized investment. It is observed that petrol and diesel-powered vehicles pay an ‘increased pollution cess’ on fuel which is obviously exempted for EVs.

The provision of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives can be made, so as to increase the viability of EVs in the long run. Regulations need to be framed wherein petrol pumps would be allowed to set up charging stations freely.
Also, one of the major concerns for EV manufacturers in safe battery disposal. Though, the government is in the process of formulating norms for battery recycling procedures and incentives for companies setting up recycling facilities, the same needs to be fast-tracked.

Lastly, employment opportunities in the EV sector need to be emphasised significantly considering it is a rising sector. This will also enhance the creation of a skilled workforce for the industry. Thus, to conclude, appropriate implementation of policies and regulations shall further promote the infrastructure and adoption of EVs.

Author: Jeetender Sharma is the founder and Managing Director of Okinawa Autotech Pvt. Ltd., one of the fastest-growing and most disruptive Indian automobile companies producing high-speed e-scooters and bikes. He manages the overall growth roadmap for the business and also oversees its operational and strategic functioning, firmly marching towards fulfilling his vision of protecting the environment through viable alternatives to petrol and diesel vehicles.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author. These views and opinions do not represent those of The Indian Express Group or any employees.

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