The central government gave an approval for green licence plates bearing numbers in white fonts for private e-vehicles and yellow for taxis, said Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, according to PTI yesterday.
Nitin Gadkari said, "The government has approved distinctive green licence plates for electric vehicles to encourage people to use electric vehicles. Such vehicles will be fitted with green licence plates bearing numbers in white fonts for private cars and yellow font for taxis."
He stated that a notification in this regard will be out in next seven days. Mentioning that the purpose behind distinctive number plates was to allow easy identification for preferential treatment in parking and free entry in congested zones among other proposed benefits like concessional toll, Gadkari told PTI.
The report further states that this measure is aimed at promoting EVs and the government is considering exemption from permits for the green vehicles. "Exemption from permit will be a game changer as restricted permit regime is a major concern. E-rickshaw growth is attributable to the permit exemption and there is scope to extend the exemption to the e-buses, e-taxis, e-autos and e-bikes. E-auto and e-buses may have a big impact since getting a new permit is extremely difficult," Gadkari said.
The government is also looking at allowing the youth in the age group of 16-18 years to drive e-scooters, which are gearless as this would lead to a big demand for e-scooters. Currently, under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, those in the age group of 16-18 years are only granted licence for gearless scooters below 50cc, interestingly there are no scooters manufactured in this category in India.
EVs to be mandated in Cab fleets
The minister stated that the government is also looking at mandating the cab aggregators to have an incremental share of EVs in their fleet, which could be one percent of the total fleet every year starting from 2020.
He further said that the government was tightening fuel efficiency norms and stressed on EVs to will bring down vehicular pollution and to promote adoption it would also request the Finance Ministry to allow the rate of depreciation on EVs at 50 percent as against the rate of 15 percent for conventional vehicles. The proposals also include bringing down the GST on batteries to 12 percent, which will bring it at par with the GST on EVs.
According to the PTI report, an official said India was home to an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 EVs and was projected to grow to about 5 percent of the total vehicles in the next five years. In FY2017-18, of the 24 million vehicles sold in India, EV sales accounted for miniscule 1 percent.