The medium-term objective is to have at least 30% of the vehicle population on the roads by the year 2030, running on non-fossil fuels, like electric or hybrid.

Centres EV thrust All government departments asked to lease electric vehicles
Atom Electric Vehicles Thursday, December 27, 2018 - 07:51

At the government of India level, there appears to be intent to encourage the switchover to electric or hybrid vehicles, at least the ones used by the government’s own employees. But when it comes to implementing this on the ground, the efforts don’t seem to have taken off. The medium-term objective, as stated, is to have at least 30% of the vehicle population on the roads by the year 2030, running on non-fossil fuels, like electric or hybrid.

As mentioned, the government wants its officers who are eligible for an official vehicle to hire only electric vehicles and the Finance Ministry has reportedly issued a direction in this regard. The hiring policy instead of owning the vehicles has been in place for some time on cost and other considerations. Only those at the top echelons of the government get to have cars bought out. Buying cars means hiring drivers and then the maintenance costs which are generally beyond the control of the government.

The government has twice tried to induct 10,000 electric vehicles into the system in Delhi but the project could not take off due to lack of charging facilities and basically an absence of a coherent policy on the whole ecosystem. The first attempt failed since the vehicles did not measure up to the specifications required technically and had to be scrapped after the first lot of 500 vehicles were delivered. The second one got nixed at the tender stage itself.

The government is now keen on utilising the GeM (the government e-marketplace), an e-marketplace the government has created to see this effort going. Government departments all over the country can list their requirements for electric vehicles on GeM and then the sellers can get on to the platform to quote the prices. GeM is the initiative of the government to create an online marketplace that could be utilized by the government departments to make their purchases in order to bring down corruption and make the procurements more broad-based and transparent. Around Rs 10,000 crore worth transactions have been concluded in the last two years on this platform.

There is also the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles (FAME) scheme in place basically to encourage the switchover to less polluting vehicles and an outlay of Rs 895 crore has been made for this. The government may subsidise the purchase of electric vehicles.

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