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Industry Expects Brownfields Inclusion In EV Policy Guidelines Due In Next 3-4 Weeks The proposed emphasis on brownfields investments alongside OEM incentives reflects a comprehensive approach aimed at nurturing a resilient EV ecosystem.

By Priyanka Tanwer

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The government is poised to unveil the guidelines for the EV policy which was approved on March 15, in a few weeks, with expectations that it will be fully operational within the next few months.

According to the reports, there are speculations about the brownfields being included in the guidelines to provide benefits under the scheme as the manufacturers have urged the central government to broaden the definition of investment in this space.

On March 15, e-vehicle policy was approved to promote India as a manufacturing destination for EVs. As per the policy, companies that set up manufacturing facilities for e-vehicles will be allowed limited imports of cars at lower customs duty. Such companies will have to set up manufacturing facilities in India in three years and attain a localisation level of 50 per cent by the fifth year.

According to an official, getting brownfields included in the policy will be discussed further while making the guidelines. However, the official also mentioned that theoretically it would not be possible to give benefits on the basis of brownfields and OEMs need to set up a separate factory to get the domestic valuation addition (DVA) of 25 per cent in the first three years.

Aditya Singh Ratnu, Chief Executive Officer, Zevo India said that our expectations extend beyond mere regulation; we seek a roadmap that incentivizes research and development, infrastructure investment, and market expansion.

"We envision a policy framework that addresses the diverse needs of stakeholders, including manufacturers, suppliers, consumers, and policymakers, fostering collaboration and partnership towards a common goal of sustainability and progress," Aditya added.

Since the policy has been approved, there have been questions for OEMs if the policy and benefits will allow them to tap into brownfields and not just greenfields to draw benefits under the scheme.

Advocating the inclusion of brownfields in the scheme, Kunal Gupta, Founder and CEO, EMotorad said that brownfields offer opportunities to revitalise existing resources, redevelop and create new jobs, address environmental challenges, and reinstate neighbourhoods—all while reducing startup time, costs, and investments and increasing tax revenues."

Raghav Arora, Co-Founder & CTO, Statiq said that the inclusion of brownfields in the policy discussions presents a unique opportunity to repurpose underutilised land for EV infrastructure development.

"Converting brownfields into EV charging stations revitalises urban areas while addressing environmental concerns through sustainable mobility solutions," he added.

Speaking about the Domestic Value Addition (DVA), Dinesh Arjun, Co-founder & CEO, Raptee said that it is imperative that local manufacturing and a strict control of DVA is ensured. This policy will also help grow and retain the talent pool in India and further our vision to Atmanirbhar Bharat.

According to the policy, to achieve the DVA level of 25 per cent by the third year and 50 per cent by the fifth year, the government has sanctioned a customs duty of 15 per cent applicable to completely knocked-down (CKD) units for a duration of five years.

Meanwhile, VG Anil, CEO, ARENQ said that EV policy guidelines will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of sustainable mobility. He expects that these guidelines should prioritize technological innovation, promote research and development initiatives, and ensure a supportive ecosystem for the growth of the EV batteries industry.

"By fostering collaboration between government, industry stakeholders, and environmental advocates, we can drive positive change and accelerate the transition towards a greener and more electrified transportation sector," he added.

Uday Narang, Founder and Chairman, Omega Seiki Mobility said that the proposed emphasis on brownfields investments alongside OEM incentives reflects a comprehensive approach aimed at nurturing a resilient EV ecosystem.

"As we await the official release of these guidelines, Omega Seiki Mobility stands poised to actively engage with and contribute to shaping these evolving policies, leveraging our expertise to drive meaningful advancements in India's electric mobility landscape," he added.

Speaking on the brownfields getting included in the policy, Debi Prasad Dash, Executive Director, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) and Chair, of India Electric Mobility Council (IEMC) said that the government's support will help Indian customers to experience global products from new-age automakers like Tesla, Rivian, Vinfast, and others.

"But we also request the government to consider supporting the existing brownfield companies for their product ranges. It will help the brownfield companies to diversify to new product ranges and put additional investment for value capture in India. As per IESA estimate, We expect over 50 GWh battery cell production capacities to be live by 2026, It Will help these EV manufacturers to achieve value capture in India," Debi added.

Meanwhile Sameer Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, Revfin said that the evolving regulatory framework, as we see is expected to expand capacities in brownfield facilities and enhance capabilities, thus pushing the agenda of 'Make - in - India' mission.

"By augmentation of existing infrastructure, the EV industry will gain a competitive edge, making adoption more accessible. The cost advantage will allow easy adoption of electric vehicles, increasing their accessibility for a wider range of consumers. This will not only drive demand but also encourage sustainable mobility solutions, aligning with our collective efforts towards a greener future," Aggarwal added.

Brajendra Singh Tomar, co-founder and CEO, Finayo said that repurposing unused brownfield areas for the deployment of electric vehicle infrastructure not only reduces urban blight but also expedites the shift to cleaner transportation options.

"The inclusion of brownfields in EV policy guidelines will represent a significant change toward integrated sustainability by connecting technology innovation with environmental reclamation. Such integration fosters economic expansion and community revitalization, establishing a mutually beneficial link between industrial success and environmental care," he added.

Priyanka Tanwer

Feature Writer

With eight years of experience covering various beats for the digital and print media, now covering electric vehicles and sustainability for Entrepreneur India, keeping a nose for innovation and new technology in this futuristic sector.     
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