Mint Quick Edit | UP’s hybrid fee cut is tech agnostic

Waived registration fee on hybrid vehicles is expected to help Maruti Suzuki, Toyota and Honda Cars India the most.
Waived registration fee on hybrid vehicles is expected to help Maruti Suzuki, Toyota and Honda Cars India the most.

Summary

  • In a welcome move, the Uttar Pradesh government announced a waiver on registration fee for hybrid vehicles. Why not all-India GST relief for hybrids next? The north star should be our net-zero aim.

In a surprise move, the Uttar Pradesh government has reportedly waived registration fee on hybrid vehicles in an attempt to incentivize cleaner transport. This is expected to help Maruti Suzuki, Toyota and Honda Cars India the most, given their bet on hybrids, which combine conventional fossil fuel-burning engines with electric-power for motion. 

A 6.6% rise in Maruti’s shares on Tuesday revealed investor elation over the move. The tax-off could mean hefty price cuts for these vehicles, which have been gaining popularity and could potentially accelerate India’s drive for low-emission traffic. Should UP’s action be followed by GST relief for hybrids, which bear a much heavier burden than electric vehicles (EVs), we’ll probably see demand for hybrids zoom. 

Also read: Should you buy a hybrid car? Here’s what you need to know

While this would mean more competition for EVs, what should guide India’s policy is the difference GST relief for hybrids would make to the country’s net-zero mission. If hybrids are what vehicle users would rather buy, at least for now, then incentivizing these could help the cause. The key is to make India’s carbon clean-up technology-agnostic. UP seems to have acknowledged as much and that’s a good sign.

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