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We are looking at how we can get petrol pumps to have charging stations: senior official

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.

 

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