Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced the Gujarat Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy, 2021. The policy aims to move the state’s transportation sector towards electric mobility to reduce pollution and protect the environment.
The government plans to popularize EVs in the state and make Gujarat a hub for EV and ancillary equipment manufacturing. Encouraging young startups and investors in electric mobility and support sectors such as data analytics and information technology are other government objectives. The policy would encourage new EV technology and help create job opportunities in the EV sector.
The planning, execution, and review of the policy have been handed to the Department of Port and Transportation.
The policy will be valid for four years, starting from July 1. The state government could undertake a mid-term review of the policy given any technological breakthrough or remove any difficulties or inconsistency with the Electricity Act, 2003.
Under the new policy, the state government will completely exempt electricity duty on EV charging stations during the policy period.
The policy also specifies that state distribution licensees will allow charging of EVs from the existing connection of a consumer at the existing tariff, except an agriculture connection.
All housing and commercial establishments will have to give a no-objection certificate to their members who wish to install EV charging stations at designated parking spaces.
Petrol pumps will be allowed to set up a charging station, provided the facility meets the fire and safety norms of relevant authorities under relevant acts/rules.
In a press conference held at the state’s capital Gandhinagar, Rupani said that around 200,000 EVs would ply on Gujarat’s roads in the next four years. These would include 110,000 electric two-wheelers (E2W), 70,000 electric three-wheelers (E3W or e-rickshaws), and 20,000 electric cars.
Considering that the per kilometer expenditure of an EV is 30-50% lesser than an internal combustion engine (ICE), Rupani said, “We have estimated that around 200,000 EVs in the state will help save fuel worth ₹50 million (~$672,622) and reduce around 600,000 tons of carbon dioxide emission.”
The Gujarat government would provide a subsidy of ₹10,000 (~$139)/kW, for which the administration will bear a cost of ₹8.7 billion (~$117 million) in the next four years.
The policy offers a subsidy of ₹20,000 (~$270) for E2W that cost up to ₹150,000 (~$2,018); ₹50,000 (~$673) subsidy for E3W that cost up to ₹500,000 (~$6,731), and ₹150,000 (~$2,018) subsidy for electric cars that cost up ₹1.5 million (~$20,193). The subsidy amount will be directly transferred to the beneficiary account through direct benefit transfer.
Private and commercial EVs approved by the Gujarat regional transport office will be exempt from paying a registration fee. Rupani said that these benefits would be in addition to the benefits granted by the Government of India under the ‘Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Strong) Hybrid and Electric Vehicles’ (FAME) II program.
The policy also includes setting up battery charging infrastructure for EVs. Under FAME II, 278 EV charging stations have been approved in the state. The government is also aiming to add 250 more stations, and a capital subsidy of 25% in the limit of ₹1 million (~$13,456) would be provided for the purpose.
Energy and Petrochemicals Department will be the nodal agency for charging stations and related subsidies.
A network of 528 charging stations will be set up in Gujarat in the coming years. The government would also encourage charging infrastructure with various business models and technologies to encourage battery swapping and charging infrastructure among private individuals, distribution companies, and investors.
Apart from this, EV manufacturers will receive benefits under the Gujarat Industrial Policy and other policies. This policy has been framed to remain in tune with the National Electric Mobility Plan.
Earlier this month, West Bengal rolled out its Electric Vehicle Policy, 2021, to position the state as a sustainable transportation infrastructure hub. As part of the plan, the state is expected to have 1 million EVs on the road and 100,000 charging stations in the next five years, in line with the FAME-II guidelines.
Last year, the Delhi government had issued the Delhi Electric Vehicle Policy, 2020, to boost the adoption of EVs in the national capital following the unsatisfactory results of the central government’s efforts.
Rahul is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before entering the world of renewables, Rahul was head of the Gujarat bureau for The Quint. He has also worked for DNA Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad Mirror. Hailing from a banking and finance background, Rahul has also worked for JP Morgan Chase and State Bank of India. More articles from Rahul Nair.