Falling prices and government support has seen increasing adoption of electric vehicles by commuters. In a written reply to a question on e-vehicles in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, Minister of State for Heavy Industries Arjun Ram Meghwal said that the number of registered electric vehicles as per e-vahan portal during the last three years has seen a consistent increase.
As against 69,012 units of electric vehicles sold in India during 2017-18, its numbers increased to 143,358 units in 2018-19 and again rising in 2019-20 to 167,041 units. The number included both two-wheelers, three wheelers and buses but two-wheeler sales have been upbeat.
The Minister informed the House that electric vehicles are being supported by the way of demand incentives under FAME India Scheme phase II to reduce the cost difference between the electric vehicles and ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicles.
He said that government is also taking a number of other steps for promotion of electric vehicles in the country. GST on electric vehicles has been reduced from 12 per cent to 5 per cent; GST on chargers/ charging stations for electric vehicles has been reduced from 18 per cent to 5 per cent.
Moreover, Ministry of Power has allowed sale of electricity as a 'service' for charging of electric vehicles. This would provide a huge incentive to attract investments into charging infrastructure, the Minister said.
The government has also granted exemption to the Battery Operated Transport Vehicles and Transport Vehicles running on Ethanol and Methanol fuels from the requirements of permit.
In the Budget of 2019-20, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced provision of additional income tax deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh on the interest paid on loans taken to purchase electric vehicles.
In order to promote electric vehicles, the government has notified for retro-fitment of hybrid electric system or electric kit to vehicles and has specified the type approval procedure of electric hybrid vehicles.
The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has notified certain specifications for the grant of licence to age group of 16-18 years to drive gearless E scooters/ Bikes upto 4.0 KW.
Also, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has made amendment in the Urban and Regional Development Plans Formulation and Implementation (URDPFI) guidelines to provide for electric vehicle charging stations in private and commercial buildings.