BENGALURU: The ‘neglected’ Electric Vehicle (EV) segment got a much-needed boost in the Union Budget 2014-15 announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley under the ‘Green India’ initiative. But EV makers are seeking more support from states by eliminating road tax and VAT for a few years until they find their footing.
The Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) was quoted by agencies saying that states like Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Maharashtra levies nearly 14% and a road tax of 4-6%. “Now that the Centre has cleared the roadmap for the growth of electric vehicles in India, SMEV expects states to join in to support this initiative,” Sohinder Gill, SMEV Director-Corporate Affairs said in a statement.
EV makers have long since called for the reinstating of the subsidy for the segment. The National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP 2020) has also largely remained on paper since it was announced in 2012.
“Government is also launching a scheme for faster adoption and manufacturing of electric vehicles (FAME) with an initial outlay of ` 75 crore,” Jaitley said. The country’s first EV (passenger vehicle), Reva, sold only 5,000 units since its rollout in 2001 before being taken over by auto major Mahindra & Mahindra in 2010. And nearly 40 per cent of those 5000 cars were exported to other countries, Chetan Maini, founder and former chief of Mahindra Reva had earlier told Express.
Terming the new initiatives as a ‘life saver’ for the segment, Gill said that states should revert to Zero VAT for a few years to give a filip to green technologies. The government had proposed to spend Rs 13,000-14,000 crore to put 5 million EV and Hybrid vehicles per year on the road by 2020.
In 2012, Mahindra inaugurated the Rs 100 crore EV manufacturing plant and their ‘Future of Mobility’ vision in Bengaluru. At the time the company said that they would initially manufacture 6,000 cars but hoped to reach their maximum capacity of 30,000 vehicles within the next three years. According to estimates, two wheeler EV total sales rose from 2,28,408 units in FY12 to 3,25,798 units in FY13. A small number compared to IC (internal combustion) vehicles (2 wheelers) sold 1,37,97,748 units in FY13. (With Agency inputs)