In a press conference on 16 February, Roads Minister Nitin Gadkari Gadkari stated that the government will not introduce an electric vehicle policy. In fact, no further incentives will be granted to the industry other than the existing ones.
Lobby group Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) would be meeting government officials to get a clear picture of government’s position on electric vehicles.
Sources said the SMEV has decided to meet NITI Aayog chief executive Amitabh Kant and heavy industries minister Anant Geete next week. SMEV includes companies such as Hero Electric, Okinawa Scooters, Mahindra and Mahindra and Tata Motors.
A senior official at SMEV, requesting anonymity stated, “We have sought a meeting with Anant Geete and Amitabh Kant in the coming week to understand the government’s position on electric vehicles. Globally, a policy direction has been given by governments in order to make these vehicles affordable and sustainable for customers.”
After Gadkari’s announcement on electric vehicles, the ministry of heavy industries issued a press release saying, “Department of Heavy Industry is working for formulating the National Automotive Policy for holistic development of automobile sector in India.”
One of the spokespeople of Ford Motor India Pvt. Ltd said, “Taking electric vehicles from 0.1% to 100% is an arduous task, and require government commitment and clarity on the availability of charging infrastructure, investment and incentives guidelines and the role/stand of state governments on EVs v/s Hybrids & other technologies.”
Mahindra Electric chief executive Mahesh Babu added, “NITI Aayog has also released reports on standards and policies around charging. Existing schemes are being implemented on the ground and the resultant increase in EV adoption should start showing in the next one or two-year time frame.”
One can expect that the government’s stance over the issue would likely benefit automobile manufacturers which have not developed electric vehicles.