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Indian Gov't to Apply Leverage On Behalf of Electric Cars

The government is planning on exempting taxes and introducing incentive schemes for customers.

Published: 12-Nov-2010

The electric vehicle (EV) segment in the Indian auto industry holds tremendous potential for the future as it is a sector that is clearly untapped till date. Even though it has been in market for sometime, its existence is totally undermined. Hopefully that will change, with the government showing a growing interest in adding leverage to the category by adopting means to popularise it as an alternate means of transport solution.

This prospective development spells well for manufacturing firms in the domestic auto industry. Already being crowded with a lot of small and big players, the auto sector may see some of the emerging auto manufacturing firms focusing on the EV segment.

As per officials in the Heavy Industries Ministry, a plan is being worked upon for the benefit of the EV industry. Initial details indicate that incentives and development of the support infrastructure are on the cards. Draft notice concerning the same is already in circulation within other concerned ministries, while the final approval from the Cabinet is awaited in December.

According to LML Sanjeevi Kumar, a senior executive at Tiruchchirappalli-based Sree Aswini Motors India Pvt Ltd, an electric bike manufacturer said, “The EV segment stands to benefit hugely if its cause is championed by the government in order to popularise it among the masses.”

What’s on the card

A part of the policy structure is supposed to exempt prospective buyers from paying taxes and other charges. Work on the physical infrastructure would give shape to charging station for the EVs to be set up. Not only that, free parking spaces for EVs will also be granted for customers. The pilot project of the same is going to be initiated in a number of small and medium Indian cities.

In this respect Nishit Mehta, an executive at Ahmedabad-based small-sized EV manufacturing and dealership firm Power Bike said, “Electric and hybrid vehicles are the future of the global auto sector. It is unfortunate that although there is immense potential affixed to this category, there have not been any promotional attempts launched by the government earlier.”

With such measures being adopted, many new players are expected to step into the EV arena. In the four-wheeler EV segment, the only established name till date is Mahindra-Reva Electric Vehicles. However, many key-players in the auto sector such as Maruti Suzuki and General Motors India are vying for an entry into the EV category with launches in the coming days.

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