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Assam govt. unveils electric vehicle policy:

GS Paper 3

Topics Covered: Infrastructure- Energy.

 

Context:

The Assam government has unveiled an electric vehicle (EV) policy for phasing out vehicles running on fossil fuels by 2030.

 

Highlights of the Policy:

  1. The policy aims to introduce at least 200,000 electric vehicles (EVs) within the next five years through a set of incentives for buyers.
  2. It entails converting all government vehicles and fleet of public buses to electric and deploying 2 lakh EVs within the next five years.
  3. In order to encourage people to buy EVs, the state government will give a subsidy of ₹20,000 on two-wheelers, ₹50,000 for three-wheelers and ₹1.5 lakh for four-wheelers.
  4. There will be 100% exemption of registration fees, road tax and parking fees for EVs.
  5. It also envisages charging stations for EVs across the state. Entrepreneurs setting up the stations will get a 90% discount on their electricity bills for the first five years.

 

 

Government of India Initiatives to give a boost EV Sector in India:

  1. The government aims to see 6 million electric and hybrid vehicles on the roads by 2020 under the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020.
  2. Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India Scheme) for improving electric mobility in India.
  3. Implementation of smart cities would also boost the growth of electric vehicles.

 

Challenges ahead:

  1. The Indian electric vehicle (EV) market currently has one of the lowest penetration rates in the world.
  2. Capital costs are high and the payoff is uncertain.
  3. The Indian EV industry has been hit hard due to rupee’s dramatic depreciation in recent months.
  4. Local production of inputs for EVs is at just about 35% of total input production.
  5. The production will be severely affected in terms of production costs.
  6. The Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles (Fame) framework has been extended repeatedly.
  7. An uncertain policy environment and the lack of supporting infrastructure are major roadblocks.
  8. India does not have any known reserves of lithium and cobalt, which makes it dependent on imports of lithium-ion batteries from Japan and China.

 

Need of the hour:

  1. For EVs to contribute effectively, we need commensurate efforts in developing an entire ecosystem.
  2. Need to shift the focus from subsidizing vehicles to subsidizing batteries because batteries make up 50% of EV costs.
  3. Increasing focus on incentivizing electric two-wheelers because two-wheelers account for 76% of the vehicles in the country and consume most of the fuel.
  4. A wide network of charging stations is imminent for attracting investment.
  5. Work places in tech parks, Public bus depots, and Multiplexes are the potential places where charging points could be installed. In Bangalore, some malls have charging points in parking lots.
  6. Corporates could invest in charging stations as Corporate Social Responsibility compliances.
  7. Acquiring lithium fields in Bolivia, Australia, and Chile could become as important as buying oil fields as India needs raw material to make batteries for electric vehicles.

Sources: the Hindu