A parliamentary panel has urged the government to frame a comprehensive national policy on electric vehicles (EV) by incorporating the elements of successful state models and international best practices.
These best practices should be based on charging infrastructure, battery swapping, battery waste management and recycling, public awareness in addition to the demand and supply side incentives such as lower GST, waiving road tax, registration fee, hire-purchase scheme at discounted interest rates by financial institutions for buying EVs, it said.
This would serve as a guiding policy to all states and ensure a comprehensive and uniform growth of the EV sector.
It has also recommended that a roadmap for setting up of solar charging stations should be prepared in a time-bound manner to reduce the dependence on electricity generated by using coal, to remain true to the green mobility objective.
The Committee on Estimates, in its report on “Evaluation of Electric Vehicles Policy”, which was tabled in Parliament on Friday, further noted that the “Removal of government support would result in price escalation of EVs significantly.
“The committee finds that a large number of start-ups are also involved in this field, which may have to shut down once the FAME II (second part of the scheme on promotion of electric vehicles called Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles) is closed. It is therefore recommended that the government should extend the FAME-II scheme beyond its current March 31, 2024 timeline by an additional two years to allow more time to evaluate the effectiveness of the scheme and to make necessary adjustments/ modifications to promote the electric vehicles (EVs).”
The high level panel further suggested to the Heavy Industries Ministry (the nodal department for electric vehicles’ promotion) that along with EVs and hybrid vehicles, it should also promote other technologies like flex fuel vehicles, hydrogen ICE, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles among others with greater emphasis for mobility transition.
The committee has also recommended that the ministry should coordinate with other ministries and charging infrastructure operators, to frame a comprehensive plan for rollout of a nationwide public charging network.
It also urged upon the ministry to consider offering purchase subsidies and cash-incentive schemes for scrapping or exchanging petrol and diesel vehicles for electric vehicles, as it would not only lead to faster adoption of EVs but also have a major impact on controlling CO2 emissions.