The Delhi government targets having a fourth of the vehicles registered annually — public and private — to be electric by 2024 as it seeks to curb vehicular pollution in one of world’s most polluted cities. This is part of Delhi’s soon-to-be-announced electric vehicle (EV) policy, said an official familiar with the matter.
An estimated 700,000 to 800,000 vehicles are registered in Delhi every year. Automobiles account for 40 per cent of particulate matter (PM) and close to 80 per cent of the NOx emissions, according to a study by The Energy Research Institute (TERI) last year. With its EV policy, the Delhi government aims to cut vehicular pollution by half over the next five to 10 years.
Delhi released its draft EV policy in November 2018. It is set to notify the policy with amendments after the Cabinet approval in a month’s time, said the person cited above. The Delhi government has an outlay of Rs 150 crore for EVs for the current year.
Among other things, the policy will adopt the so-called “technology-agnostic” approach for EV charging. It means even those offering battery swapping technology will be eligible for incentive schemes.
“The Delhi government’s EV policy will ensure that neither of the two is disincentivised as the government should facilitate whatever technology is available for the market,” said the official.
The policy will include setting up a charging point every 3 kilometres, over the next three years, to facilitate proliferation of EVs. For this, the government will seek participation from private players.
For public transport, the Delhi government is looking to have 50 per cent of the new vehicles registered to be electric in five years. It’s in the process of procuring 1,000 e-buses — the largest for any state.
On the policy adopting a technology-agnostic approach for charging infrastructure, Mahesh Babu, CEO, Mahindra Electric — the EV-making arm of Mahindra and Mahindra — said while there are global standards available for charging, there are none for swapping. “The government should not support anything that favours just one company and is not standardised.”
Charging gives a level playing field — any OEM (original equipment manufacturer) can use a charging station as it is based on a standard protocol, said Babu. “My suggestion is before swapping station as a concept is commercialised, it has to go through standard protocol,” he added.
An official at another company, who didn’t want to be identified, said given that while some EVs have fixed batteries and others removable, it is important that incentives must not favour one approach versus another.“It will otherwise take away a manufacturer’s prerogative to decide what is best for one’s company. Hence the direction to be agnostic is correct,” he said.
The Delhi government’s EV policy will be announced against the backdrop of the central government giving a renewed thrust to EVs as it seeks to pare its fuel import bill and adopt cleaner technology.