Economy

Electric vehicles policy rollout likely in April

Roudra Bhattacharya New Delhi | Updated on November 17, 2017 Published on February 16, 2012

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After over a year of discussions, the final roadmap for the development of the domestic electric vehicle and hybrid vehicle (xEV) industry is likely to be unveiled by the Government in April, just missing the Budget.

A meeting for the final discussions on infrastructure creation and an incentives strategy for buyers is expected between stakeholders such as the Government, industry and the academia, on February 23-24, sources said.

“Among the three core areas for exchanging views, a meeting on the research and development (R&D) requirements and investment has already happened,” a top Government official told Business Line.

“After this last discussion between the Board, the final contours of the policy will emerge. There will be a ministerial-level meeting in April, leading to the final announcement of the xEV policy,” he added. The Ministry of Heavy Industries, the nodal Ministry for the project, has already set up a Board and a Minister-level Council for ‘National Mission on xEVs' announced by the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, in last year's Budget.

While the Petroleum, Finance, Road Transport and Power Ministries are a part of this, big auto industry names such as Mr Anand Mahindra and Mr Vikram Kirloskar (Vice-Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar) are also involved in developing a broad framework for the sector.

The Government's ambitious intent on xEVs is also highlighted by a proposal to set up a Rs 740-crore R&D fund for the nascent sector in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17). A feasibility study was also commissioned to Booz-Allen last year by the Heavy Industry Ministry at a cost of Rs 90 lakh.

Toyota Kirloskar, the only company to sell a hybrid in India, has sold 150 units of the Prius, which it imports as fully-built units.

“We're very keen on xEVs, since globally we're the biggest maker of hybrids. We've been told to expect a policy after the Budget. That is the future, which India has to understand,” Mr Sandeep Singh, Deputy Managing Director for Marketing, Toyota Kirloskar, said.

The plan is to get around challenges such as the high cost of key imported components such as the battery and electric motor and develop such capabilities locally.

At present, only Mahindra Reva sells a fully electric car in India, the Revai, while there are a few electric two-wheeler makers such as Hero Electric and Electrotherm.

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Published on February 16, 2012
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