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Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Only Electric Vehicles to be sold after 2030 says NITI Aayog in its latest proposal

In yet another instance of flip-flopping regarding electric vehicle goals, the government think tank NITI Aayog has set a new target pertaining to EVs.

According to the latest Cabinet note, NITI Aayog has proposed that only electric vehicles should be sold after 2030. This expands the scope of EVs beyond two-wheelers and three-wheelers and is being done to increase the usage of clean-fuel technology according to NITI Aayog.

Earlier this month, in a report from CNBC TV18, the transport ministry was planning to release a draft which ensured that the government only allowed the sale of electric three-wheelers from April 2023 onwards and only electric two-wheelers from April 2025 onwards.

Only Electric Vehicles to be sold after 2030 says NITI Aayog in its latest proposal

However, this time the proposal aims to go beyond just setting targets. In its cabinet note, NITI Aayog is also looking at assigning responsibilities to different ministries according to a report in The Economic Times. For instance, road transport and highways ministry will be tasked with coming up with a framework to phase out the sale of diesel and petrol vehicles by 2030.

There is also a mention of e-highways which will have an overhead electricity network to allow certain trucks and buses to use the national highways. These electric highways are currently only implemented in Sweden and more recently, Germany also began pilot test for such highways. The overhead electricity networks let trucks or buses ply on these highways as pure EVs using pantographs (just like overheard electric wires do for train travel) and once they are off the e-highways, they can function as hybrid vehicles.

Another point in the note insists on radio cab services, such as Ola and Uber, to go completely electric by 2030.

Transport minister Nitin Gadkari has said that this roadmap will be finalised only after consulting with the auto industry. Recently, scooter makers, Bajaj and TVS Motor Company expressed displeasure at the government's over-ambitious plans regarding electric scooters.

(Also Read: Wreckage of IAF's missing AN-32 spotted in Arunachal Pradesh)

In addition to the directions on EVs, NITI Aayog also weighed in on Giga-scale battery manufacturing and announced some incentives for the same. According to the report, the annual subsidy outgo is expected to be around Rs 8,000 crore and it will be given to manufacturers after the actual sale of the batteries. The maximum cash subsidy will be for up to 20 GWh per company.
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