India stands on the cusp of a revolution in vehicular mobility. And Hyundai’s Kona, the country’s first electric SUV, is being seen as the harbinger of this new era. But, as the idiom goes, it takes two to tango. The automobile industry seems ready, can India match it step for step?
On the face of it, the answer is a resounding YES. The Indian government has pulled out all stops and offered a great spread of incentives, initiatives and subsidies to help EVs gain popularity and traction among the masses.
Here’s a look at these SOPS being rolled out:
FAME II (Faster Adoption and Manufacture of Electric Vehicles part II) came into effect from April 1 this year, and the Centre has earmarked Rs 10,000 crore for this program.
About 86% of the funds are being set aside as an upfront incentive to manufacturers to help them reduce the cost of production.
Under FAME II, 2-wheelers get a subsidy of Rs 10,000 per kWh battery capacity. This is a great initiative to encourage adoption of the new-age vehicles, given the penetration of two-wheelers in smaller towns and cities.
A Bill to reduce GST on EVs from 12% to 5% will be tabled soon. If passed, the price of the Hyundai Kona will immediately go down by about Rs 1.5 lakh.
The government has also thrown in an additional income tax deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh on interest paid on the loans taken to purchase an electric vehicle
There’s no doubting the government’s intent, or the will to step into a cleaner future that reduces our dependence on fossil fuels. But the government still stares into the complex matter of developing the infrastructure to support EV vehicles.
Globally, some countries have found a solution even to this problem. For example, all new homes in England will soon have to have provision for charging points. Our government, too, has taken the first step in this direction by inviting tenders to deploy charging infrastructure under FAME-II. The target is to get as many as 1,000 charging stations across India – each with multiple charging points — via those entities who show EOI (Expression of Interest).
Last but not least, under the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP), our government aims to achieve sales of 6-7 million hybrid and electric vehicles by 2020. This figure seems very optimistic, but as a vision, it’s no doubt a bold one to herald the electric mobility revolution.
For those who feel subsidies and incentives aren’t enough reason to look forward to this brave new world, here are all the other benefits that come with EVs.
They have almost zero NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) levels, come with extremely low maintenance cost (no servicing or change of fluids) and offer cheap running costs.
And before you ask, these motors offer full torque from the get-go, which means city-performance is more than ample.
With manufacturers lining up their EVs for launch in the next couple of years, it won’t be wrong to say the EVolution of Indian motoring is finally here. And all of us should be part of it.
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