Why it Makes Sense to Exempt EVs from Delhi Govt's Odd-Even Scheme

The number of registered electric vehicles in Delhi is less than 1,000 and are less polluting
Why it Makes Sense to Exempt EVs from Delhi Govt's Odd-Even Scheme
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As part of Delhi government’s odd-even scheme to curb pollution and tackle traffic menace in the city, electric vehicles or EVs have been exempted from the scheme. Delhi’s Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot announced that the number of registered electric vehicles in the city is less than 1,000 and are less polluting.

Delhi’s Air Quality Index, or AQI, has reached an alarming level and has become a public health hazard. Public health emergency was declared on Friday after the AQI hit 478 in some areas of Delhi.

As part of the odd-even scheme, private four-wheeler vehicles with odd last digit will be allowed on roads on odd dates and those with even last digit will be allowed on even dates. The Delhi government has implemented the odd-even scheme for 11 days from November 4 to November 15 from 8 a.m. to 8p.m. Apart from EVs, two-wheelers and women drivers have also been exempted. If anyone violates the scheme, a hefty amount of INR 4000 will be imposed.

EV Wave in India

The prevailing environmental crisis has all the more emphasized the importance of EVs. The government has expressed its wholehearted support towards the EV adoption movement in India.

In the budget 2019, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman urged Indians to move towards this form of transportation while announcing a series of benefits that will be bestowed on the buyers. Sitharaman said that the government aims to make India a “global hub of manufacturing electric vehicles” inclusive of solar batteries and charging stations. 

The country’s think-tank, NITI Aayog, proposed the selling of only electric vehicles post-2030, discouraging the production of petrol and diesel powered vehicles. The National Electric Mobility Mission 2030, another initiative of government to promote EV production and sale in the country, announced two years back, aimed at achieving 30 per cent e-mobility in India.

FAME II is another policy was launched in April 2019, with an outlay of INR 10,000 crores to be invested in the span of three years. The framework also promised to set up 27,000 charging stations along with supporting 10 lakh two-wheelers, 5 lakh three-wheelers, 55,000 four-wheelers, and 7,000 buses that operate on lithium-ion batteries or other electric power-train.

What Do The Players Say About The EV Ecosystem

EV players in the industry have a lot to say about what the government should do. Cleantech company Magenta Power’s Managing Director, Maxson Lewis says, “The government is doing what it has to do to bring a positive narrative about EV charging. That is why they are talking about putting up the charging infrastructure. But there is a slightly non-practical, non-technical view of things that the government has. What they are doing is good, but it may not be correct.”

In India, the states and the government are working towards making EV adoption at a faster pace.

Even investors feel that EV investments will see a rise in the coming times. Koushik Bhattacharya, director and head of industrials at financial advisory firm Avendus Capital, said, “We are seeing a lot of investors interested in this space,” he said. “However, in terms of people being able to derive confidence and conviction with respect to operating business models...I think there will be a lot of belief that would be built out over the next 12-18 months.”

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