The Electric Vehicle (EV) industry is still in its nascent stage in the country and needs a push from the government to gain some momentum and move forward in the right direction. However, the much-required pan-India policy for EVs still appears to be a distant dream for the country.
“There’s no need for a specific EV policy for India now, the union minister of road transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari, was quoted as saying at the launch of EV charging stations at NITI Aayog in the national capital.
This statement marks a stark departure from the previous stance of the government on the promotion of EVs in the country with the help of new policies and regulations.
“Abrupt policy U-turns are extremely negative for the markets and the investment climate. Several companies have announced plans to invest in the sector based on the minister’s earlier comments. Now, they have to stop and re-evaluate,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO Mercom Capital Group.
As reported previously by Mercom, India is targeting the deployment of five to seven million electric vehicles in the country by the year 2020 under the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020.
According to media reports, the CEO of NITI Aayog, Amitabh Kant, was also present at the event. Elaborating on Gadkari’s statement, Kant reportedly said, “Day-to-day technological innovations are taking place in the automobile sector. We are making an action plan on electric vehicles which will be given to all ministries and we will monitor it. We don’t require a policy on it as such.
Supporting the statement, an official at NITI Aayog told Mercom, “For EVs, we cannot have a policy governing all states, not yet. Like electricity generation, it will be the onus of the states. Charging infrastructure development, EV ecosystem development can be more successful when implemented at regional level (state-level) rather than from the center.”
“The NITI Aayog will help set the standards for the EVs, so consumers get the most out of it and carbon-emissions go down. At the central level, the government can procure for itself, and it has started doing that. EESL issued tender for EVs. Now even we (NITI Aayog) will be procuring all EVs for our utilization,” added the NITI Aayog official.
Recently, Mercom had reported that the latest report released by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and global advisory firm EY, called for government’s efforts to drive the EV uptake in India. “The required need at this point in time is the presence of related support industry and infrastructure as it will help the charging infrastructure thrive. We expect the government to take active measures to streamline regulatory challenges and provide further policy impetus to drive uptake of EVs,” the report said.
So far, the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka have come up with their specific policies for EVs. A single policy framework is required for a country like India, where implementation is an issue even in the most progressive of states. Left at their leisure, most of these states will fall behind in policy formulation and implementation.
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Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.