The demand for electric vehicles in the country has grown over two times in the last three years. The number of registered electric vehicles as per e-vahan portal jumped from 69,012 in FY18 to 167,041 in FY20, informed the Minister of State for Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises Arjun Ram Meghwal in the Parliament today. This takes the total count of electric vehicles sold in the country to 3.79 lakh units in the last three years.
The upfront cost of electric vehicles is higher than the internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. However, the operational cost of electric vehicles is lower than the ICE vehicles. "Further, 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 vehicles," the minister said in a lok Sabha reply.
Further, initiatives have also been taken up by the government for the promotion of electric vehicles in the country which includes GST on them being 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. Ministry of Power has allowed sale of electricity as 'service' for charging of electric vehicles. This would provide a huge incentive to attract investments into charging infrastructure, the minister replied.
The government has also granted an exemption to battery-operated transport vehicles and transport vehicles running on ethanol and methanol fuels from the requirements of permit. In the Budget of 2019-20, a provision of additional income tax deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh on the interest paid on loans taken to purchase electric vehicles was announced. 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 and 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.