E-vehicles on roads, but much-awaited subsidy policy still missing

Energy Minister claims E-vehicles policy soon, but precious little has moved on ground

Gandhinagar: The State Government may boast of initiating proactive measures in promoting and attracting industrial investments, but is proving a laggard in framing of policies and announcements. For electric vehicles, the State Government is yet to finalise the subsidy policy.

Sources in the Energy and Transport departments told First India that, “There was a time in Gujarat, when policies were prepared and announced first and industrial investment used to follow it.”

But now the trend seems to have reversed. “Industries are permitted to set up plants and there is no policy. The government has granted permission for Lithium Ion battery manufacturing, two companies have set up plants and by mid or end of this calendar year these are likely to go operational. Along with electrical commercial vehicles like buses and personal vehicles, electric cars are on the road but there is no concrete subsidy policy being framed by the state government.”

On Thursday, Energy Minister Saurabh Patel while flagging off electrical vehicles purchased by the Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) told media persons that an e-vehicle policy will be announced soon.

But Energy Department sources said the framing of the subsidy policy involves four to five departments and nothing concrete has worked out so far. In September, the State Government had announced its intention of giving subsidy to the tune of Rs 37,500 for two wheelers and Rs 90,000 for three wheelers, but there has been no action since.

According to technical experts, 50 per cent of the cost of electrical vehicle is on Lithium Ion Battery and so if the government doesn’t give a matching subsidy on two- wheelers, electrical vehicles will be not be viable for the consumers.

The State Government targets to have one lakh e-vehicles by the end of 2022 and this can be achieved only if the government announces subsidy policies at the earliest and also start giving permission for the charging stations across the state. Public charging stations are to be approved by the Central Government and its subsidy is disbursed through Gujarat Energy Development Agency.

In the current financial year, the pan-India sales of E-vehicles have touched 2,85,000 vehicles and they were paid Rs 3.6 billion in subsidy.