But it must shift its energy mix towards renewables for the desired green gains
While the plan is also to increase the charging infrastructure, the lack of information in the market, and the lack of choice for customers, may throw a spanner in the plans.
The centre did its bit to encourage electric vehicles (EVs) when it offered tax exemption on electric cars. Earlier, in 2019, the GST Council accepted the proposal of a lower 5% GST on EVs. Now, the Delhi government has waived off road tax on EVs. Last month, it had announced that it would soon be rolling out the subsidies under its EV policy. The road tax waiver results in savings of Rs 1.5 lakh on a Rs 14-lakh car. With the subsidy scheme, the cost difference with a comparable ICE car can be recovered in just 1-3 years.
While the plan is also to increase the charging infrastructure, the lack of information in the market, and the lack of choice for customers, may throw a spanner in the plans. If the Centre is intent on promoting EVs, it will need to relax its strict standards and allow more manufacturers to bring their cars to the Indian markets by reducing the duties on EV imports. Delhi also must ensure that its power consumption leans towards renewables. As per the Central Electricity Authority, thermal power accounts for 85% of Delhi’s total power. A US government report shows that states in that country that rely excessively on coal show only a slight difference between EVs and ICE vehicles in terms of annual emissions per vehicle. So, if Delhi is to see real gains, it needs to relook its energy mix as well.