Telangana government's tough norms deter e-Auto buyers

Lack of charging infrastructure, limit on number of vehicles plying in city also blamed for low sales

Published: 22nd December 2021 11:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd December 2021 11:28 AM   |  A+A-

Electric Auto Trolley

Electric Auto Trolley (Representational Image)

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Despite the State government’s very visible push for e-vehicle adoption, tougher norms and price factor on e-Auto (3-wheeler) remain discouraging factors for the buyer. This is in marked contrast to sales of private e-vehicles, both two-wheelers and four-wheelers. 

In Hyderabad, prices of both e-autos and LPG / CNG run autos work out to almost the same after the paperwork. Not surprisingly autorickshaw buyers continue to opt for the latter, mostly due to the hesitation that comes with venturing into unfamiliar territory. 

So far, fewer than 50 e-Auto units have been registered across the State, while sales of other vehicles, including those used as trolleys (goods carriage) and cars, have picked up and crossed 600 and 700 mark. Two-wheeler sales are close to 8,000 units. 

The TS Transport Department had on May 17, 2021 come up with guidelines approving only 1,000 e-Autos within GHMC limits and 19,000 in other parts of the State. Sources say that tough norms, including possession of a valid 3-wheeler driving license, and that there should be no other auto in the name of the applicant and other tough regulations, have not only discouraged potential buyers. These tough norms have also resulted in applications being met with rejections from the RTA department, the sources say. 

“Despite 100 per cent registration fee and road tax exemption for the first 1,000 e-Auto rickshaws, only around 45 such vehicles have been sold so far,” said a source. However, Auto Drivers Unions say that they are not ready to take chances, particularly in city limits, when there remains a policy of no new registration (GO Ms No 137 - 2002) and a new vehicle can only be replaced by scrapped one. 

“Lack of awareness and apprehensions about investment, particularly when there are only a few charging stations, people are not going for e-Autos,” said A Sathi Reddy, president, Telangana Auto Drivers’ Welfare Samakhya. 

In Hyderabad new LPG/CNG run autos (replaced by scrapped ones) cost Rs 3.2 lakh on road while e-auto are also priced somewhere around the same. “Who will invest in unfamiliar territory?” Sathi Reddy asks. 
Meanwhile, officials blame the Union government for not providing more concessions over procurement of new units. “The Centre should give more relaxation and incenti-ves to encourage e-Auto sales,” a senior RTA official said.


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