Chandigarh plans EV-only registration after 2030, drafts EV policy

by Sumantra B Barooah 17 Oct 2019


As the buzz around electric mobility grows in India, many states are preparing to adopt mass- scale electric mobility, with some wanting to take a lead. The Union Territory (UT) of Chandigarh is one such region. The administration has prepared a draft EV policy which has been seen by Autocar Professional. With this Chandigarh becomes the latest entrant in the list of states in the country who have either come out or have a draft EV policy, the others being Maharashtra, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Bihar among others. 

Chandigarh, which has the highest density of vehicles in India with around 1.2 million vehicles, is facing the challenge of their emission impact on air quality. Therefore, 'rapid adoption of EVs is of great importance to the city'.

Chandigarh, proposed to be a smart city under the Smart Cities Mission of the Ministry of Urban Development, has already taken some steps to adopt electric mobility. The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) has floated a tender for 40 electric buses and charging stations. The Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) has fixed Rs 4 per unit and Rs 100 as a fixed monthly charge on electricity bill for the charging stations.

Chandigarh wants to become 'one of the world’s leading clean vehicle cities' and also promote 'R&D, innovation and skill development in (the) EV sector.' Towards achieving these objectives, the UT proposes the following:

- Only EVs to be registered in the city after 2030.
- To have all-electric fleet of public buses by 2027.
- To have all-electric government fleet by 2025.
- To have all electric rickshaws, corporate fleets, cabs and school buses / vans on road by 2030.
- To install 1,000 public EV chargers by 2030.

Incentives for EV buyers
- Direct subsidy (only for first 3,000 buyers) of Rs 20,000 for buyers of electric two- and three- wheelers.
- 100 percent exemption in road tax and registration charges up to 2024 will be given on EV purchases.
- Free insurance (for first 1,000 EV buyers in the city) for one year.
- Dedicated free parking slots reserved for EVs in all government-owned parking spaces. In addition, all commercial buildings, education institutions and RWAs will be required to have reserved parking space for EVs with charging facilities. 
- 30 percent dedicated parking spaces for EVs in new public parking lots in the city.

Incentives and assistance for EV charging
- The Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) has already fixed Rs 4 per unit and Rs 100 as a fixed monthly charge on electricity bill for EV charging stations.
- 30 percent subsidy on installation of home chargers
- 15 percent subsidy for charging infrastructure companies, who wish to install charging stations at public places.
- The U.T administration will build dedicated lanes for EV charging in every sector of the city.
- Provision for charging spots will be made mandatory in all commercial buildings such as hotels, shopping malls and technology parks.
- Amendment to building and construction laws will be made to ensure charging infrastructure is integrated at the planning stage itself for all new constructions.

Local fleet programme
Deployment of EVs in fleets helps raise public awareness and acceptance of relatively new technologies, and has unique advantages of centralised charging, management, and maintenance. The U.T administration will encourage agencies, corporations, communities, and large fleet operators to shift from ICE-powered vehicles to EVs. The administration will provide  a group purchase incentive of Rs 30,000 per vehicle to all legal entities that make a one-time purchase of more than a certain number of EVs over and above other incentives/subsidies.

Battery recycling incentives
If left untreated, power batteries from EVs can impact the environment adversely. To address this, the U.T administration plans to provide Rs 2,000 per electric passenger vehicle and Rs 20,000 per electric bus to battery enterprises, which carry out battery recycling and echelon use. To avail this incentive, the battery enterprise should be located in Chandigarh.

Shared e-mobility
Shared mobility has the potential to improve network efficiency, enable better place-making and free up space for alternative uses, while reducing reliance on private vehicles. The administration will encourage existing companies and start-ups to start shared e-mobility programmes in the city.

The draft Policy states that 'Chandigarh is best suited to take a lead in e-mobility in India as the UT's planned structure makes it ideal to introduce charging stations in public places, which is pertinent for the success of EVs. The mandatory installation of solar rooftop on virtually all new and old residential, commercial and government buildings in Chandigarh will be a boon for EV charging through renewable energy, thus reducing burden on the grid as well as carbon footprint. How much of the proposed steps turn into law, will be known soon.     

Ride and drive events
To enable people to get a real-world feel of EVs, the U.T administration in collaboration with EV car makers will organise monthly EV parades in the city. The events will include opportunities for test drives as well as for public officials to attend and announce new EV initiatives.

Additional road tax and pollution cess on IC vehicles
After 2025, additional road taxes and pollution cess will be levied on all ICE-powered vehicles. The amount of tax will be decided by city EV committee.  

Research & Development
Providing research support is important to bring down costs and improve EV performance. In this regard, the U.T. administration will establish a Centre of Excellence on Future Mobility in Chandigarh, which will foster innovation in the clean transportation sector and serve as a catalyst for carbon reduction and inclusive economic development.

Skill development
The U.T. administration with the help of industry will set up an EV skill development centre in the city. The centre will help in creating appropriate manpower for the EV industry.

Policy Implementation
Department of Transport, U.T Chandigarh will be the nodal department for the implementation of Chandigarh EV Policy. An EV Steering committee will also be constituted under the chairmanship of adviser to the Administrator, U.T Chandigarh to suggest measures for the implementation of the policy. Other member of the committee will include Secretary, Transport; Secretary, Finance; Secretary, Home; Secretary, State Transport Authority; Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh; Commissioner, Excise & Taxation; Director, Chandigarh Transport Undertaking; SSP, Chandigarh Police; and representative from CII.

The committee will look into measures to support the acceleration of EV uptake in U.T Chandigarh; make a stakeholder group for procurement of EVs for government use; ensure that systems for charging and payment are as accessible and user-friendly as possible; propose a number of places on streets in the city where charging points for electric vehicles can be located without major disruption to road-users, street cleaning and waste collection services; and study best practices all around the world for deployment of EVs.

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