Time has come to give a little nudge to accelerate electric mobility, says SMEV

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New Delhi, Feb.27 (ANI): “To reduce India’s humungous fuel import dependency, as well as to tackle the menace of vehicular pollution in our cities, the government needs to galvanize the eco-system for E-vehicles in the country. The Union budget 2016-17 can be an ideal exercise in this direction and built upon the momentum over the previous budget”, said Sohinder Gill, director of the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV).

He reminded the government that in the previous union budget 2015-16, FAME India (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles in India) policy was unveiled, and lamented that the sale of electric vehicles has not picked up as expected.

Mild hybrid vehicles have a marginal effect on emissions and crude oil consumption, but being the easiest to implement, have taken away a large share of the FAME incentive.

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Electric Vehicles are the real and complete answer to low emissions and reduced crude oil consumption and should have been given priority over hybrids. On the contrary, the efforts to promote pure electric vehicles seem to have taken a back seat and it is feared that the EV mission may be hijacked away from its prime objective.

Gill identified some of the actions that require the attention of this year’s budget:

. Time has come to give a nudge to the customers to convert to EVs. Lacs of two wheelers that are being used in commercial applications like deliveries of “on line purchases” should be mandatorily converted onto electric bikes.

. If London can levy a tax of 80 pounds on fuel cars coming into the city and Europe can make many prts of cities out of bound for polluting vehicles, why can’t India do the same for the most polluting parts of Indian cities

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. The govt needs to announce its long term commitment to electric mobility and not keep the industry guessing from year to year. Investments will not come into the sector unless a 5 to 10 years clear policy and outlay is committed. The coordination between various ministries and departments needs to be improved as at present there are anamolies that hamper the growth of this sector. One example is the custom offices across India forcing electric two wheeler manufacturers to pay 5 times the import duty on the drive motor claiming it to be a rim and not an electric motor despite Govt allowing concessional import duty on Electric/ Electronic components that have not yet been developed in India

. Installing public charging infrastructure in at least 100 cities to support electric vehicles. Budget should have special outlay for facilitating creation of this critical infrastructure support within the next 12 months.

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.The budget needs to give clear directive to public banks to offer loans to facilitate the purchase of electric vehicles. Around 60% of purchase of any automobiles is through financing and EVs are deprived of this facility.

. Special E-Vehicle Promotional Schemes: Government and public sector offices should convert part of their fleet to electric and should heavily incentivise employees to convert to electric vehicles. (ANI)

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