As the world stands on the cusp of climate change and other associated risks, the United Nations Environment Programme has decided that ‘Air Pollution’ will be the theme for this year’s World Environment Day. With reports finding 15 out of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are in India, the government has taken a forward-looking stance to remedy the issue.
One of the biggest points of the NDA government during its first term to power was that it would speed up the deployment and usage of electric vehicles. Now, the government’s apex think tank, NITI Aayog has revamped its efforts to incentivize the EV market in the long term.
Under Modi 1.0
In April 2015, NDA government launched a scheme known as the FAME India scheme to incentivize the population to buy EVs. This included an outlay of 895 crores for not only incentives but also infrastructure.
In May 2018, the government also created new regulation for EVs on roads, such as creating room for a green license board. This was owing to the planned preferential treatment that EVs would be given in parking, concessional tolls and free entry into congested areas.
The NDA government also issued guidelines for building the infrastructure for EVs, such as a need for charging stations for EVs to be set up across the country. Under these guidelines, charging stations will be set up once every 25 kilometres, with fast charging stations for buses and trucks at 100 km.
By incentivising the growth of EVs, the government aimed to achieve what they termed as “full electric mobility” by the year 2030.
Modi 2.0 For Advanced Implementation
After the NDA government was elected to power again, it recently launched a second phase of FAME plan. This set aside ₹ 10,000 crore for supporting 10 lakh two-wheelers, 5 lakh, 55k four-wheelers and 7000 buses with Li-ion batteries.
NITI Aayog also proposed that there will be a phased switch towards electric vehicles, especially in two and three-wheeler segments. The rules state that the sale of all internal combustion engine-run auto rickshaws and be banned in March 2023 and 2025 respectively.
In addition to this, they are also adopting policies to push those who already use ICE vehicles towards EVs. This has taken the form of a ‘polluter-pays’ model, in which rebates paid by those using ICE vehicles will be contributed towards developing EV infrastructure.
An Upcoming EV Wave?
NITI Aayog has also been tasked with consolidating EV regulations from all across the country into one plan of action. This is especially required at this point in time owing to the individual moves of states towards developing EV regulations.
States such as Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka and more have already begun implementing EV policies. Companies are also incentivized into adopting EV fleets by these regulations owing to tax breaks and other benefits from the government.
The movement by India towards e-mobility might be slow, but a concerted move by the state and central governments can drive growth. In-depth regulations with future goals and a solid plan of action for the short- to mid-term is sure to incentivize companies and consumers alike to jump on the EV train and make the country a greener place.
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