Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari said the government’s electric vehicle (EV) policy has been drafted by NITI Aayog, the country’s apex planning body, and is currently pending approval by the Cabinet.
Speaking to reporters at the unveiling of Mercedes Benz India Pvt. Ltd’s first car compliant with the Bharat Stage 6 pollution norms, the S350d sedan, Gadkari reiterated the government’s stance on non-provision of incentives to automakers to develop EVs.
“There will be no incentives. We believe the market will give good incentives because people are aware of pollution and realise how cost effective EVs are. A good quality product at a reasonable price doesn’t need to be marketed,” he said.
The incentives provided by the tax rates under the goods and services tax (GST) regime are enough, he added.
EVs and vehicles running on biofuels are taxed 12%, while hybrid, diesel and petrol vehicles are taxed at 28%, in addition to a varying cess.
At present, EV sales account for less than a percentage point of India’s passenger car market owing to the prohibitively high cost.
In September, Gadkari had pushed automakers to shift production to vehicles running on environment-friendly fuels “whether they like it or not” to address the twin issues of air pollution and high oil imports.