Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday announced that all the vehicles that will be powered by alternative fuels are now exempted from the permit requirements. Gadkari made this announcement at the 58th Annual Convention held by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
He said that electric vehicles and vehicles that use bio-diesel, CNG, ethanol and methanol will not need a commercial permit. He also took to Twitter to urge the automobile industry to focus on water transport.
The focus is to reduce pollution, imports and increase export. As part of its electric mobility plan, the Centre is targeting the conversion of 30 percent of the country’s total vehicle fleet to electric by 2030.
The government, in a report, said switching to electric vehicles is estimated to bring down its crude oil import bill by a whopping $60 billion, and reduce emissions by 37 percent. India is the fifth largest auto market in the world, and crude oil imports make up the single largest component of the country’s import bill at nearly $85 billion this year, according to data from the oil ministry's website. Reports suggest India imports close to 82 percent of all its oil needs.
And the biggies are already closely looking at electric vehicles, with car manufacturers like Hyundai and Maruti all set to launch a range of electric vehicles.
According to the power ministry, India’s electricity generation capacity is 2.7 lakh MW, of which only five percent comes from solar energy. The government aims to increase solar generation to 1 lakh MW by 2030, and will offer subsidies to bring down the cost of power. It is also encouraging large investments in the sector.
While there is strong speculation whether India can really achieve an all-electric vehicle mission by 2030, companies remain bullish on the shifts and changes seen in the market. It will be interesting to see whether India can move in the direction of electric vehicles like China.