The government may soon drive in a separate electric taxi policy for cab aggregators, under which the fleet owners as well as driver partners will be incentivised for running cabs on electric mobility. Incentives may be in the form of tax waivers, zero toll on highways and no permits under the policy, which will also be applicable for electric bus shuttle and autorickshaw services.
“We are working on a policy to encourage use of commercial electric vehicles for city transport that will remove all necessary permits otherwise needed to run commercial vehicles, including taxis,”road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari told ET. “It has the potential to transform the electric mobility sector.” Gadkari said he has proposed various subsidies for electric vehicles and is already in talks with the finance ministry to get necessary exemptions.
Several factors including higher cost of vehicles, power outages, lack of charging infrastructure and dearth of facilities for eco-friendly disposal of batteries to curb pollution are among the factors inhibiting consumers from buying electric vehicles in India.
The minister said he is working with the ministries of power and renewable energy, heavy industries and petroleum to provide a quick solution to provide an efficient charging system.Gadkari also said he would want India to be a hub of electric vehicles.
Speaking about Tesla Motors cofounder Elon Musk’s reservations regarding manufacturing in India, the minister said he will facilitate all help possible and ensure Tesla a smooth ride.
Musk had earlier indicated that the supply ecosystem is very important for Tesla. “Maybe I’m misinformed, but I was told that 30% of the parts must be locally sourced and the supply does not yet exist in India to support that,”he had said.
Meanwhile, the government is considering a proposal to buy almost two lakh e-cars for government departments, ministries and other bodies.
Have Solar Chargers Too
In tandem, there’s the need for a solarpowered charging network, to step up EV usage. What’s required is an eco-system of slow, fast, rapid and ultra-fast solar chargers. `Slow’ charging points, with up to 3kW of power, which would be ideal for overnight charging at home, need a policy push. A business case can also be made for other chargers of varying duration, including ultrafast solar chargers that take only minutes for charging on the go.