Viewpoint: Electric Vehicles in India

06 MAY,2019 | MEDC


 

In the recent Interim Budget of 2019, the then Finance Minister highlighted the need to switch to electric vehicles (EVs) powered by renewables to reduce oil imports and combat rising environmental pollution.  While EVs are still a minuscule component of India’s current transport system, the fact is that the country has a huge innate potential to accommodate them. Since the cost of batteries is what makes EVs unaffordable for most Indians, a new policy cleared recently by the government lays out $ 1.4 billion in subsidies over three years for electric buses, three-wheelers, and four-wheelers that are registered as commercial vehicles. It includes private motorcycles and scooters. State governments are also expected to offer innovative combinations of monetary and non-monetary incentives to migrate to EVs. However, the underlying issue continues to remain a paucity of basic infrastructure. Until we are able to provide suitable charging stations for EVs all over the country and make them commercially viable vis-à-vis petrol and diesel vehicles, one cannot expect them to be adequately adopted by Indians.

*Photo Credit: Google

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