Higher subsidy for electric performance – The Economic Times

Clipped from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/opinion/et-editorial/higher-subsidy-for-electric-performance/articleshow/83646415.cmsSynopsis

In a welcome move, the Centre has increased the incentive for electric two-wheelers by 50% to ₹15,000 per kWh, so as to make, say, e-scooters price-competitive with petrol-fuelled bikes.

In a welcome move, the Centre has increased the incentive for electric two-wheelers by 50% to ₹15,000 per kWh, so as to make, say, e-scooters price-competitive with petrol-fuelled bikes. The policy objective along the way is to gainfully cut down on oil imports, switch to domestic energy sources including renewables for transport, and purposefully reduce carbon emissions in the bargain.

India is the largest manufacturer of two-wheelers, with an estimated 175 million on the road, 79% of all vehicles. This vehicular segment is also the largest consumer of petrol here. And, by further incentivising the smaller electric vehicles (EVs), so as to rev up incremental demand, we can well be on the way to proactively reducing petrol usage and crude oil imports. A forward-looking policy on EVs actually makes fiscal and macroeconomic sense. With global-scale EV manufacturing, exports would also be an attractive proposition. In tandem, we do need to step up resource allocation for public transport of course, to reap scale economies, remove rigidities and raise efficiency levels. But two-wheelers boost last-mile connectivity and can well complement public-transport policy and mass mobility.

A Crisil report has stated that about 95% of the e-scooters in India are not eligible for the incentive scheme, as they fail to meet the minimum criteria stipulated: a range of 80 km on a single charge, and a top speed of 40 km per hour. Mandating higher efficiency standards would enable an EV to travel a given distance on a smaller, more cost-effective battery pack. In parallel, we need to explore new battery chemistries such as metal-oxide combinations and hydrogen fuel cells, to better leverage domestic resource endowments to rev up electric mobility.

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