Incentives fail to accelerate sale of e-vehicles

The sale of electric vehicles is yet to pick up pace in the state, despite a push for the use of electric vehicles by providing various incentives to buyers. As on July 31, the number of electric vehicles was only 30,819, compared to non-electric vehicles (around 2.14 crore).

Officials say that the growth in sales of electric vehicles was below par, affecting the ambitious target of the union government to put six to seven million such vehicles on the road by 2020. Experts feel that the cost factor of e-vehicles is a major turn off for the cost-sensitive Indian consumer, who will opt for such vehicles when the price and features of such vehicles are on a par with conventional vehicles.

The current ratio of e-vehicle to other vehicles in Karnataka is an astounding 1:696 and it is expected to take several years for the ratio to even out. Bengaluru had a slightly better ratio of 1:327, indicating that the city had a better electric vehicle density than other parts of the state.

According to Transport department data, there was a total of 2.14 crore vehicles in Karnataka, of which 82 lakh were in Bengaluru. In contrast, the number of e-vehicles in Bengaluru was 25,017, with only 5,802 such vehicles in other parts of the state.

Sources in the department told DH said despite incentives such as exemption from road tax for vehicle registration and others, the number of takers for such vehicles has been less than expected. “The number of units sold this year too is not encouraging,” the source said.

J Gnanendra Kumar, joint commissioner of the department, said the slowdown in automobile sector has affected the sale of electric vehicles too. “Though e-vehicles do not generate much revenue due to the incentives offered, efforts are on at both the central and state level to promote e-vehicles,” he said.

Ashish Verma, associate professor, Indian Institute of Science, said, “there are uncertainties regarding technology in such vehicles, charging points, lack of options among e-vehicles and other factors,” he said. One of the ways in which the Central and State government can popularise e-vehicles is by disincentivising petrol and diesel vehicles by taxing them more, he added.

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