It seems government has completely distracted from a long-running flip-flop on framing regulations concerning electric vehicles(EV). The government has scrapped plans to present any such guidelines for now.
This announcement has come as a sigh of relief for automakers who bat against government stringent policy on transitioning India into electric vehicles nation.
Global as well as local car manufacturers have expressed their concerns in implementing electric vehicle ecosystem in the country. Meanwhile, the decision would also affect the auto firms who were so far running parallel with the government for implementing 100 per cent electrification.
According to a Mint report, Union transport minister, Nitin Gadkari and NITI Aayog’s chief Amitabh held a joint press conference on Thursday explaining it, “There is no need for any policy now,” he emphasises.
This also comes as a surprise for the industry, which has been desperately waiting for the EV policy. After initial objections by Gadkari, last month government think tank NITI Aayog was appointed to frame the policy for EV.
“Everyday, new technology is coming into the market. Technology is always ahead of rules and regulations. And in India, it becomes very tough to change rules and regulations, so let there be just actions,” Kant said, backing Gadkari statement.
Maruti Suzuki India chairman R.C. Bhargava, who had earlier raised concern over the government decision to have all-electric fleet by 2030, said companies will now have the flexibility to choose a technology they want.
The electric vehicle policy saga
It all started in November 2017, when the minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari had objected NITI Aayog’s proposal to appoint itself as the implementing agency for India’s Electric Vehicle (EV) Mission 2030.
Gadkari said that the cabinet should appoint anyone fit for the role.
Following the incident, the minister of state for heavy industries Babul Supriyo said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha, “There are, at present, no plans under consideration of the Department of Heavy Industry to make all vehicles in the country powered by electricity by 2030.”
The government’s stern policy already met with strong scathing in the past from the auto industry. Along with Maruti Suzuki’s Bhargava, luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz India MD Roland Folger also urged the government not to rush with the all-electric vehicles push.
The auto industry suggested the government should consider better technological options as the rest of the world is racing to run on hydrogen and not electricity.
Meanwhile, home-grown auto majors Tata, Mahindra and Maruti Sukuzi have begun their campaign for EV’s. These companies have also launched their product in the market including Mahindra e20.
On the other side, foreign entities like Toyota and Suzuki have inked a deal to bring electric vehicles to India by 2020. In luxury segment, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, JLR, BMW and even Volvo are in talks to draft their respective EV strategies for India.