India now plans to make EVs comprise 15% of all vehicles sales by 2023

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  • At a meeting of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, transport minister Nitin Gadkari outlined a plan to make EVs comprise 15% of total vehicle sales in India in the next five years.
  • This is a significant jump from the 4% target announced by the government in May this year.
  • The government plans to boost EV sales by removing permit requirements and levying a modest rate of 12% on them under the GST regime.
The Indian government wants you to know that it’s serious about mainstreaming electric vehicles (EVs) and reducing its reliance on oil imports.

On September 6th, at a meeting of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, India’s ministers for transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari, announced that the government was aiming to make EVs comprise 15% of total vehicle sales in India within the next five years.

This is a significant jump from the 4% target announced by the government in May this year. In March 2018, it also announced a goal to make EVs account for 30% of all cars on Indian roads by 2030.

Either way, making EV sales reach the 15% threshold by 2023 won’t be an easy task. Electric vehicle sales currently comprise a little over 1% iof all car sales in India. However, Gadkari outlined a few measures aimed at achieving this target.

Firstly, electric vehicle owners won’t need road permits for their cars. The government has decided to exempt EVs and CNG vehicles from permit requirements in a bid to boost their sales. Secondly, EVs will be taxed at a rate of 12% under the GST without any further taxes. Thirdly, EVs that are imported for the purposes of testing will not exempt from duties.

Additionally, government could also require ride-sharing services like Uber and Ola to have a certain amount of EVs in their fleet, a move that will be easier in the absence of permit restrictions. The Indian government will need to complement these measures with the establishment of adequate infrastructure like charging stations under its the National E-Mobility Programme.

The news comes as a number of car manufacturers are looking to introduce EV models in the country. Through a proposed joint venture, Toyota and Suzuki reportedly plan to launch four models of electric or hybrid vehicles in India by 2021. Maruti-Suzuki is said to be currently testing an electric version of its compact Wagon-R model.
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