To promote eco-friendly vehicles, the government of Gujarat has implemented a program for the distribution of battery-operated vehicles (BOVs), especially two-wheelers to the students of grade nine and above.
Those students who opt for such vehicles will get the benefit of state subsidy to the tune of ₹10,000 (~$141) per vehicle. The program is executed through the dealership network of Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA) authorized manufacturers. High speed (>25 km/hr) battery-operated two-wheelers have also been distributed to those students of grade 12 and above with a valid driving license.
During 2015-16 and 2016-17, GEDA implemented the program of battery-operated low-speed two-wheelers in Gandhinagar city and Gandhinagar Urban Development Authority (GUDA) area with the benefit of ₹10,000 (~$141)/BOV for students between grade eight and 12. Later, the same program was extended to four major cities of the state—Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, and Rajkot.
The battery-operated two-wheelers fitted with advance batteries with three years of warranty and sold by GEDA authorized manufacturers are eligible for the state financial assistance under the program.
Climate Change Department of the government of Gujarat introduced a program of battery-operated three-wheelers (e-rickshaws) during 2018-19. According to an official document, as e-rickshaws aren’t popular among the rickshaw drivers in Gujarat like some other states, the program was introduced with a state subsidy. In 2019-20, e-rickshaws fitted with advance batteries came with a subsidy of ₹40,000 (~$564.18) on a reimbursement basis.
Utilization of battery-operated vehicles for urban mobility in the state has tremendous potential for the conservation of petroleum products and is environment-friendly too. Apart from being eco-friendly, the low-speed vehicles (two-wheelers, < 25 Km/hr) are exempted from RTO registration and driving license by the Automotive Research Association of India.
India has launched a program to battle the increasing level of pollutants in the air. The National Clean Air Program (NCAP) is a time-bound national-level strategy for pan India implementation to tackle the rising air pollution problem across the country.
To combat oil import costs and pollution, NITI Aayog released a comprehensive roadmap for clean mobility stating that all three-wheelers and two-wheelers sold after 2023 and 2025 respectively need to be battery operated. The two-wheelers are in the low-speed category up to 150 ccs. They have also proposed gigawatt-scale domestic battery production to make the vehicles cost-competitive.
In November 2019, the Ministry of Heavy Industries announced that about 285,000 buyers of electric and hybrid vehicles have benefitted from the subsidies provided under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles in India (FAME-India) program to the tune of ₹3.6 billion (~$50.2 million).
In October 2019, GEDA invited expressions of interest (EoI) for the authorization of manufacturers for marketing and distribution of 100 battery-operated school vans in Gujarat. The project falls under the GEDA Subsidy Program for 2019-20.
Anjana is a news editor at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, she held roles of senior editor, district correspondent, and sub-editor for The Times of India, Biospectrum and The Sunday Guardian. Before that, she worked at the Deccan Herald and the Asianlite as chief sub-editor and news editor. She has also contributed to The Quint, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Reader’s Digest (UK edition), IndiaSe (Singapore-based magazine) and Asiaville. Anjana holds a Master’s degree in Geography from North Bengal University, and a diploma in mass communication and journalism from Guru Ghasidas University, Bhopal.