The government is looking to put in place a framework for a mega battery
manufacturing and charging infrastructure — including the use of petrol pumps
for electric charging points — to push electric vehicles (EVs) in the country.
The finalisation of plans comes amid resistance
from the powerful auto lobby to the mandate to sell only electric
three-wheelers by 2023 and that all new two-wheelers with engine capacity of up
to 150cc may have to be electric powered by 2025.
Govt plans a phased rollout of EV program
To counter this opposition, the government is contemplating a phased
rollout of the EV programme for two- and three wheelers and initially limit
their sale to the metropolitan cities, especially those that are highly
polluted. This will be akin to the implementation of emission standards such as
BSIV and may partly help address concerns of the industry, which has described
the government’s move as “unrealistic” and “ill-timed”.
Issue of lack of charging points
across the country
“There is the question of lack of charging points across the country. We
are looking at how we can get petrol pumps to have charging stations. Once you
have a network of charging stations across the country, it will promote the use
of electric vehicles,” a senior official said.
Currently, there are around 60,000 petrol
stations operated by state-run firms and there are plans to add nearly the
same number. Several private players also operate gas stations across the
country. The industry has complained that the charging infrastructure is
missing and the use of existing fuel stations is seen as a win-win deal.
Govt to turn India into a
manufacturing base thru early EV rollout
Besides, the government wants to use the EV rollout to turn India into a
manufacturing base for vehicles as well as batteries and avoid a situation like
the one for electronic goods and mobile phones where a late entry has resulted
in China emerging
as the global manufacturing hub.
NITI Aayog’s proposal on ‘giga-scale’
cell and battery manufacturing facilities
As part of that move, NITI
Aayog, the government think tank, has floated a Cabinet proposal on
“giga-scale” cell and battery manufacturing facilities in the country,
suggesting a variety of sops, including income tax incentives to promote investment
and a customs duty matrix that encourages domestic production.