HYDERABAD: With fuel prices seeing an alarming increase, people in Telangana are increasingly opting for electric vehicles (EV). Close to 7,500 EVs were registered across the State, mostly two-wheelers, after Telangana had rolled out the Electric Vehicle Policy in October 2020.
By this October-end, a total of 7,443 EVs were registered, of which 5,968 were bikes, 779 were cars, 29 were taxis, 623 light goods vehicles and 44 autorickshaws. Officials say that the registration of EVs are a good sign, as despite the pandemic situation, where preference for pre-owned vehicles for private use, posed a challenge for new registrations, the rising fuel prices contributed to the demand and shift towards EVs, particularly after the second lockdown.
“The oil price hike also marked people’s preferences, particularly those using personal vehicles. The oil price hike has impacted mostly the middle-class and it has become unbearable for a small-time private employee who wishes to take his/her own ride,” observed a higher official.
In need of more incentives
It is believed that another factor for the phenomenon is free registrations. However, unlike northern States, which adopted the policy, Telangana and other southern States are lagging behind in the provision of any further incentives. For instance, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Gujarat, Assam, Bihar, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Odisha are offering subsidies of about Rs 30,000 for bikes and Rs 60,000 to Rs 2.5 lakh on cars and SUVs, depending on the battery capacity.
Accessibility of EV charging stations is another factor, which sources say will be resolved by March 2022 in the State. The authorities are gearing up for setting up of 600 EV charging stations in the State, of which, 250 will be in Hyderabad alone.
However, limited registrations of vehicles which are used as cabs and passenger autos is attributed to lack of government support. “People are ready to buy, but the overall cost is going above Rs 3 lakhs for autorickshaws. If the government gives some concessions, the auto drivers will opt for e-vehicle. They have only announced free-registration. The prices for other types of autos ( existing category like LPG and CNG) are less than Rs 1.8 lakh (off-showroom) and after all paperwork it is close to Rs 3 lakh,” explained, A Sathi Reddy, president, Telangana Auto Drivers' Welfare Samakhya.