Though sale of environment-friendly electric vehicles is slowly picking up in India, its manufacturers feel that much more needs to be done in terms of providing incentives and developing infrastructure to promote e-vehicles and help conserve environment. The Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) has urged Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to announce some path-breaking initiatives in his forthcoming budget to promote use of electric two-wheelers and four-wheelers as eco-friendly mode of transport.

Boosting sales

Underlining the priorities of the sector, SMEV President Naveen Munjal, who is also the Managing Director of Hero Electric, told The Hindu that “Apart from cutting duties on import of components used in manufacturing e-vehicles, the government should provide subsidies and rationalise tax structure to boost sale of electric vehicles. To boost domestic industry, import duties on completely-built units (CBUs) of e-vehicles should be increased.”

Demanding a comprehensive policy on ‘Electric Vehicle Mobility' from the government, Mr. Munjal said there should be a nation-wide subsidy of at least 25 per cent on purchases of e-vehicles as being done by the Delhi government.

Other states should implement this to promote eco-friendly vehicles, he said. At present, over one-lakh electric two-wheelers are sold in India and the industry is growing at 30 per cent annually, while the electric car market is still at its nascent stage. Mr. Munjal said SMEV had been demanding removal of inverted import duty structure on electric vehicles and of excise duty of over 8 per cent on critical items such as battery, motor, controller, charger to catalyse their indigenisation, and doing away with value-added tax.

“These fiscal incentives are a must to promote manufacturing of e-vehicles. Promotion of e-vehicles would also help government save on huge amount of foreign exchange paid to fund imports of crude oil for automobiles,” he said.

Mr. Munjal said India had all the potential to emerge as the leading manufacturer and exporter of e-vehicles, and the government should become active facilitator for the same.

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