Government will expand and strengthen the electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem by supporting manufacturing and charging infrastructure, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in the Budget on Thursday.

“Greater adoption of e-buses for public transport networks will be encouraged through payment security mechanism,” she said in her Budget speech.

In her pre-election Budget, which is technically a Vote-on-Account or Interim Budget, she also said that blending of compressed biogas into compressed natural gas for transport and piped natural gas would be made mandatory.

Welcoming the announcement, industry veterans and analysts said that an increase in charging infrastructure was highly required and this would encourage consumers to buy EVs.

“Lack of charging infrastructure has been perceived by many consumers who intend to buy EVs as a major hindrance, hence focused steps to improve the charging infrastructure will aid in the driving consumption,” Rajeev Singh, Partner and Consumer Industry leader, Deloitte Asia Pacific, said.

This ‘visionary’ initiative would not only accelerate the transition to sustainable transportation but would also foster innovation and job creation within the EV sector, Mayank Bindal, Founder & CEO, Snap E Cabs, said.