The cost of electric vehicles and renewal of registration for these eco-friendly vehicles is soon to get cheaper.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has issued a draft notification dated May 27, to further amend the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 proposing to exempt Battery Operated Vehicles (BOV) from payment of fees for the purpose of issue or renewal of Registration Certificate (RC) and assignment of new registration mark.
This, the ministry says, is to encourage e-mobility and adoption of electric vehicles in the country.
In FY2021, a year badly impacted by the pandemic and resultant lockdowns, the EV sector too has felt the pressure of a slowing economy and tepid sales.
Cumulative EV sales numbers for FY2021 were 238,120 units, down 19.41% year on year (FY2020: 295,497). Electric two- and three-wheelers, termed the ‘low-hanging fruit’ came under pressure with sales of 143,837 units (-5.37%) and 88,378 units (-59%). The bulk of the e-two-wheeler demand came from low-speed models (103,000 units) while 40,836 high-speed models found buyers last fiscal.
While the decline in electric three-wheeler numbers looks rather high at 37% YoY, the fact is that the SMEV data doesn’t include vehicles that are not registered with the transport authority.
The electric passenger vehicle segment though witnessed segment though witnessed robust YoY growth albeit on a low year-ago base – 5,905 units, up 110% (FY2020: 2,814 units). The bulk of these sales came from the Tata Nexon EV, which sold 3,805 units and accounted for 64% of total electric PV sales. The MG ZS EV, with 1,499 units, was the second best-selling e-car.
Industry welcomes move
Kartik Hajela, co-founder, Log 9 Materials: “The bid to exempt EVs from the ambit of RC is definitely a great move towards further reducing the cost of EVs in our country. Initially, the government was pushing batteries itself to be provided separately than with the vehicle, which was a great step to reduce the upfront cost of the vehicle. If this draft notification is enacted and implemented, it will further improve the economics' edge for the consumer to make an easy decision of choosing an EV over ICE vehicles. Going forward, more such initiatives or booster doses are needed from government to push the EV ecosystem, till such time when all components and technologies are indigenous with enough scale to bring the non-subsidised cost of an EV at par with (or even cheaper than) ICE-based vehicles.”
Jeetender Sharma, MD and founder, Okinawa Autotech: “The decision to waive off the registration fees for EVs by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is very much appreciated and also very encouraging as it comes just before the world environment day. Such progressive policies coming into play will serve as a big push for the adoption of electric mobility in the country. Pollution is one of the serious issues that our country is facing and thus, such decisions are very essential to encourage people towards the EVs and also helps in reducing the carbon footprint.”