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The government Friday asserted that subsidies for promotion of electric mobility in India will be only for commercial vehicles, and automobiles for personal usage will not be included.
Speaking at an event here, Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Arjun Ram Meghwal said the government expects India to adopt electric vehicles (EV) in "all natural course" - be it for bikes, cars, trucks, buses and e-rickshaws, while emphasising that the transition was necessary in order to reduce carbon emissions as per the Paris Agreement. "The government has made clear its intention to promote electric mobility through commercial fleet owners and incentives will be only offered to them," Meghwal said here at India UK Electric Mobility Forum 2019. Under the Rs 10,000-crore FAME scheme, subsidy on EVs are given to three- and four-wheelers for commercial and fleet applications. However, in two-wheelers it is also extended for personal usage.
Various industry players have been asking the government to also provide support to EVs for personal usage four-wheelers in order to make them affordable and popularise the eco-friendly technology. Reiterating the significance of EVs, the minister said this was the only way to provide smoke-free environment to the future generations. "We will have to move towards the EVs to reduce carbon emissions as per the Paris Agreement... It is the right of future generations to have a smokeless environment... It is our goal," Meghwal said. Elaborating on the plans to promote EVs, Meghwal said that his ministry has invited proposals from entities to develop charging infrastructure in big and smart cities. "Proposals are invited from cities that intend to develop charging infrastructure in million-plus cities as per 2011 census. Initially, 1,000 EV charging stations are earmarked for development through the EOI (expressions of interest)," he added. These charging stations will be sanctioned in different cities after evaluation of the proposals received under the EOI, the minister said. "We also plan to connect all charging stations with grid-connected solar power plant of required capacity as per new renewable energy guidelines so as to ensure grid stability and green energy for EVs," he added. "The government also wants to have an electric highway. We are working on that front. The shift towards EVs will not only tackle air pollution, but also reduce import bill," Meghwal said. He added that the Niti Aayog has recommended making electric two- and three-wheelers mandatory from 2025 and all new four-wheelers for commercial use within city limit by April 2026. The government think tank has also recommended even phase-wise introduction of commercial four-wheelers by fleet owners including taxi aggregators from 2.5 per cent in 2020-21 to 40 per cent usage in 2025-26, he said. "Moreover, it was recommended that 30 per cent of new intra-city buses should be electric by April 2026," Meghwal said. He said the government has put in statutory safeguards to promote green mobility in the country.