Only 279 electric auto-rickshaws have been registered in the national capital since February against the Delhi government's intent for purchase of over 4,000 e-autos, data on the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways' Vahan portal showed.
The computerised draw of lots for the allotment of 4,261 e-autos was held on February 14 with July 31 as the last date for registration. According to the Vahan portal, 279 e-autos, comprising 215 Piaggio and 64 Mahindra Reva Electric vehicles, have been sold till now. The auto-rickshaw union has blamed the high interest rates for procuring the electric vehicle and misconceptions around e-autos as the reasons behind such a lukewarm response, whereas the government officials have cited ''supply issues'' as the issue. Delhi Transport Commissioner Ashish Kundra said, ''There is an issue of supply chain in the electric vehicles because of some chip issues.
The supply is clogged but the issue is likely to be resolved by mid-July or so.'' The government will take a practical view over the extension of the last date of registration for e-autos, he said. Rakesh Aggarwal, president of Chaalak Shakti, an auto-rickshaw union, on the other hand, has held the high rate of interest responsible for the low registration. ''In the name of a single-window facilitation, Delhi Government has handed over all the responsibility i.e. from sale to financing to insurance along with everything else till the autos are plying on the road to the Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL). This company has tied up with only two private financiers whose rate of interest is 15 per cent which is twice the sum that is paid for private cars,'' he said.
Due to the absence of public and private sector banks, drivers are compelled to turn to private financiers, Aggarwal said.
The transport commissioner, however, has maintained that the government is offering subvention on loans on the purchase of e-autos.
''A large number of the buyers go to regular financiers who are there in the market. The financing cost for autos is generally higher in the market and that is why this subvention was introduced. It is a relatively new product and the rate of interest is high across the board,'' he said.
According to the state government, it is providing five per cent interest subvention on the purchase of e-autos on loans along with a purchase incentive of Rs 30,000 under the Delhi Electric Vehicle Policy.
Aggarwal further said that misconceptions regarding e-autos have also deterred drivers from switching to the sustainable mode of transportation, adding that the government should address those misconceptions.
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