GS Paper 3
Topics Covered: Infrastructure- Energy.
The Assam government has unveiled an electric vehicle (EV) policy for phasing out vehicles running on fossil fuels by 2030.
Highlights of the Policy:
- The policy aims to introduce at least 200,000 electric vehicles (EVs) within the next five years through a set of incentives for buyers.
- It entails converting all government vehicles and fleet of public buses to electric and deploying 2 lakh EVs within the next five years.
- 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.
- There will be 100% exemption of registration fees, road tax and parking fees for EVs.
- 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:
- The government aims to see 6 million electric and hybrid vehicles on the roads by 2020 under the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020.
- Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India Scheme) for improving electric mobility in India.
- Implementation of smart cities would also boost the growth of electric vehicles.
- The Indian electric vehicle (EV) market currently has one of the lowest penetration rates in the world.
- Capital costs are high and the payoff is uncertain.
- The Indian EV industry has been hit hard due to rupee’s dramatic depreciation in recent months.
- Local production of inputs for EVs is at just about 35% of total input production.
- The production will be severely affected in terms of production costs.
- The Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles (Fame) framework has been extended repeatedly.
- An uncertain policy environment and the lack of supporting infrastructure are major roadblocks.
- 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:
- For EVs to contribute effectively, we need commensurate efforts in developing an entire ecosystem.
- Need to shift the focus from subsidizing vehicles to subsidizing batteries because batteries make up 50% of EV costs.
- 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.
- A wide network of charging stations is imminent for attracting investment.
- 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.
- Corporates could invest in charging stations as Corporate Social Responsibility compliances.
- 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