Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 8
Reiterating India’s commitment to reduction of vehicular pollution, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said that in two years’ time the cost of an electric vehicle would be the same as that of using petroleum as fuel.
With the running cost of electric vehicles being much lower than petrol vehicles, the economics would favour the former, the minister said on Sunday evening while taking part in a webinar organised by The Sustainability Foundation, Denmark.
Answering a question on the high initial cost of electric vehicles, Gadkari said GST on e-vehicles was five per cent only as against 48 per cent on petrol vehicles.
The high cost of lithium batteries, which pushed up the price of electric vehicles, was progressively coming down. Price of electric vehicle, too, would see a downward trend as a result, the minister said.
Gadkari said that at present 81 per cent of India’s requirement of lithium batteries was being met by local producers. Research was going on regarding developing alternative battery technologies and breakthrough in this field was expected sooner than later, he said.
The minister said his dream was to make India a manufacturing hub for electric cars including products by global players such as the Mercedes Benz and BMW. Fifty per cent of the e-vehicles manufactured by Indian two-wheeler producing giants like Bajaj and Hero were exported, Gadkari said.
On the issue of availability of charging points for electric vehicles, Gadkari said that in the next two years a lot of charging points would come up in the country. Process has been already initiated for setting up 350 charging points at roadside as well as in market areas. Petrol pumps have also been allowed to install e-vehicle charging facilities on their premises, he said.
A lot of electric vehicle owners in India were also having their own chargers, Gadkari said.
Stating that “electric mobility is gaining good momentum in the country”, Gadkari said the cost effectiveness of e-vehicles would itself attract people to shift toward this mode of transport.
Gadkari said that ideally the government would like to see a sale penetration of 30 per cent for private cars, 70 per cent for commercial cars, 40 per cent for buses and 80 per cent for two-wheelers and three-wheelers by 2030.
The minister added that electricity for powering these vehicles would be produced from renewable energy sources like solar and biomass and not from the highly carbon-emitting coal.
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