New Delhi: Amidst an aggressive push for a switch to electric mobility, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said the government will come out with a policy on electric vehicles shortly.
With pollution levels rising in the national capital, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government had set a target to promote the use of electric vehicles. The government released a draft policy in November.
“We are going to announce an electric vehicle policy shortly that will help in bringing down the level of pollution in Delhi. We are working on a long-term policy to control pollution levels and I will come back with more next week. The policy that is being worked on will be one of the best and will set a global example," Kejriwal said while addressing a press conference on air pollution in Delhi.
The announcement comes at a time when the shift to electric mobility has been a priority of the Narendra Modi-led government, keeping in mind India’s commitment to reduce carbon footprint by a third from its 2005 levels. India aims to achieve this target by 2030. Besides, transition to electric vehicles (EVs) is expected to reduce India’s oil import bill, and generate new avenues of employment.
According to the draft policy, the Delhi government wants 25% of all new vehicles by 2023 to be electric vehicles. The government is also looking to put in place measures to support the creation of jobs in driving, selling, financing, servicing and charging of EVs.
“The introduction of 4000 electric buses will also help in promoting public transport and I am sure people will shift from using their cars to these buses," Kejriwal said.
Meanwhile, the central government has been trying to incentivize the adoption of EVs through several steps in the past few months, similar to those taken by governments in China and Europe. In July, the Goods and Services Tax Council headed by finance minister Nirmala Sithraman reduced tax on EVs and chargers to 5% from 12% and 18%, respectively. Besides, in the Union Budget earlier in July, Sitharaman announced tax rebates of up to ₹1.5 lakh to customers on interest paid on loans to buy EVs and also announced customs duty exemption on lithium-ion cells.
“As electric vehicles represent the next generation in sustainable mobility, India must emphasize on them. Currently, the market share of electric cars is only 0.06% when compared to 2% in China and 39% in Norway," according to the Economic Survey 2019.