SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY IN STATE ELECTRIC VEHICLE (EV) POLICIES

Last week, Government of Telangana conducted stakeholder consultation on draft Telangana electric vehicle policy to captivate buyers and manufacturers. Also, Government of Uttar Pradesh launched the updated Uttar Pradesh electric vehicle policy in August 2019. Appreciating that India’s urban mobility ecosystem is largely undefined with conflicting priorities burdened with financial constraints, it is critical to review if electric mobility can be a turning point for India’s sustainable mobility journey.  In this regard, UITP-India has performed an evaluation of few state electric vehicle policies from sustainable mobility perspective. This article tries to understand how the available state EV policies address the two principles of urban mobility- restricting private vehicle use and encouraging public transport.

Sustainable mobility in state electric vehicle policiesElectric vehicle (EV), e-mobility etc. have become the most celebrated topics in mobility space. The thrust for e-mobility in India began in 2013 with the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020 aiming to deploy around 7 million hybrid and all-electric vehicles in the country by 2020. This was followed by the launch of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicle I & II (FAME) schemes to encourage users to buy electric vehicles over traditional fuel-based vehicles.  In consonance with the Government of India principles, the progressive states are formulating or already formulated electric vehicle/mobility policies giving push for the electric vehicle growth. Last week, Government of Telangana conducted stakeholder consultation on draft electric vehicle policy to captivate buyers and manufacturers. Also, Government of Uttar Pradesh launched the updated electric vehicle policy in August 2019.  As per the latest information, 10 states in India have their EV policies under various stages. However, these policies have largely remained as a vision document, promising rebates, concessions, subsidies and regulatory interventions.

Concurrently, urban mobility in India is also undergoing rapid transformation with the growth of ride-sharing and hailing systems coupled with dwindling public transport systems. Appreciating that India’s urban mobility ecosystem is largely undefined with conflicting priorities burdened with financial constraints, it is critical to review if electric mobility can be a turning point for India’s sustainable mobility journey. In this regard, UITP-India has performed an evaluation of few state electric vehicle policies from sustainable mobility perspective. This article tries to understand how the available state EV policies address the two principles of urban mobility- restricting private vehicle use and encouraging public transport.

We need fewer cars .. Not cleaner cars

To begin with, all state EV policies envision to make themselves a preferred destination for the electric vehicle investments, only exception being Kerala and Delhi. While Kerala has mentioned to embrace electric mobility as a tool to promote shared mobility and clean transportation and to create ecosystem for EV component manufacturing, Delhi placed reduction in emissions from transport sector as the primary objective. Secondly, incentives for EV or component or charging infrastructure manufacturing are given in all state EV policies. All states through their EV policies are targeting to create a sustainable ecosystem for EV and component manufacturing but only limited states have addressed the ecosystem for electric vehicle functioning and mobility as well. In short, the states have considered electric vehicles as a mechanism to boost the local economy as well as to create employment opportunities.

Further, all states laid its focus on increasing the adoption of electric vehicles and laid targets for EV adoption when the key principle for achieving sustainable urban mobility being restriction of private vehicle use. The states have announced incentives for electric two-wheeler and four-wheeler purchases as well as exempted electric vehicles from most of the fees (registration fees, motor vehicles taxes, parking fees etc.). However, switching to electric private vehicles will not solve our urban mobility issues. We would still require considerable amount of urban land for road infrastructure, parking etc. Even after a shift to electric or cleaner transport, we may still have to face mobility issues like congestion, increasing travel time etc. Therefore, the rush to cleaner cars alone will not solve the problems cities are grappling with. Instead, we may have to place electric vehicles within a wide variety of modes favouring sustainable mobility.

Electrifying public transport

On the other hand, most of the states have targeted induction of e-buses appreciating that the highest proportion of passenger-kilometres travelled are shared by public and shared transport vehicles (eg. Buses, auto-rickshaws and cabs) and their electrification will generate faster results. Telangana state targets 100% transformation to electric buses by 2030, 25% of which by 2022. While Kerala Government targeted 3000 e-buses and 100 e-ferry boats, all other state EV policies target 1000 electric buses in varying time frames. Regarding charging infrastructure for buses, Karnataka EV policy mentions specific incentives. However, most of the states only address provision of public charging facilities in depots.

Secondly, intermediate public transit attracted much attention in the state EV policies. Last mile connectivity through e-rickshaws, e-autos, electric driven ride hailing services are encouraged in Draft Delhi Electric Vehicle Policy through open permit system, subsidies and financing support in addition to other incentives. Two-wheeler taxis are also incentivized through EV policies in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi along with other strategic measures for contract carriage permits addressed by all states. To summarize, electrification of public transport is addressed by all state EV policies in general but has missed to consider the same in an integrated manner.

To conclude, the current state EV policies are prepared in an isolated manner with an objective to boost EV manufacturing and adoption in the states. While the National Urban Transport Policy 2006 focuses on moving people and goods instead of vehicles, the state EV policies are promoting electric driven vehicles. The FAME-II Scheme in this regard is appreciative as it allocates more than 40% of the vehicle demand incentives for buses and another 29% for electric three wheelers. The state EV policies may have to be aligned to ensure that current mobility issues are resolved in a fair and inclusive manner with the common good. The lack of adequate mass transit infrastructure and services, regulatory barriers and individual behaviour should not be a hindrance for the adoption of EV in public transport. The state EV policies shall be a counterpart creating ecosystem for the growth of clean public transport in the cities to achieve the overarching goals of both sustainable and electric mobility.

Note: Table below summarizes the EV policies across the states available from public domain. Gujarat EV policy takes a lead on manufacturing electric vehicles (Automobile and auto components) and hence not included in the comparison. 

 

 

Delhi

Uttar Pradesh

Telengana

Maharashtra

Kerala

Karnataka

Andhra Pradesh

Targets for Personal Vehicles

25% of all new registrations

10 Lakh EVs by 2024

100% migration by 2030

5 Lakhs

1 million EV's

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10 Lakh EVs by 2024

Public Transport Target

50% of entire PT fleet by 2023

1000 EV buses will be introduced by the State by 2030

10 Cities for 70% EV public transport

100%     electric  buses by 2030

EV in public transport in 6 cities

 

By 2020: 3000 E-buses, 100 E-ferry boats

100% E-buses by 2025

1000 EV buses during the policy period

100% APSRTC bus fleet by 2030

Private Vehicle Incentives

Purchase and Top Up Incentives for specific vehicle categories

₹11,000-22,000 per vehicle - Scrapping Incentive of up to ₹15,000 

Waive off registration fees, road tax and MCD one-time parking fee  

Vehicle registration fee exemptions to buyers for first 1 Lakh buyers

100% exemption from road tax for 2 wheelers

75% exemption from road tax for other EVs

 

Road tax exemption for all electric vehicles till 2025

Interest           Free loans up to 50% of the cost to all state government employees for purchase of EVs

Free Parking in public parking places and Toll exemption on State Highways

First 1 Lakh EVs to get end user subsidy

15% subsidy for private vehicles

Exemption from road taxes

Reduction in SGST proposed

Rs 15000 or 25% of the EV whichever is lower for 2 wheelers

 

Exemption from payment of all taxes

Model Electric Mobility Cities

Reimbursement of registration charges and road tax

PT Incentives

Subsidy as decided by GNCTD from time to time

 

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Contract carriage permits or private operators with EV fleet

First 1000 E-bus buyers to get subsidy

Rs 30000 or 25% of the EV whichever is lower for the 3 wheelers

Capital subsidy of 25% subject to max. of Rs 10 Lakh per station for first 50 swapping/switching stations for buses

Priority permits for e-autos