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India approves US$4.1 billion plan to put 6 million electric vehicles on roads by 2020

Date
30 August 2012
India approves US$4.1 billion plan to put 6 million electric vehicles on roads by 2020

NEW DELHI: The Indian Government has confirmed its plans to boost electric vehicles (EVs) across the nation over the next eight years. 

At a Government meeting called National Electric Mobility 2020 yesterday, it was decided that India will spend more than INR22,500 core (US$4.1 billion) over the next eight years to promote hybrid and pure electric vehicles, through research and development, infrastructure and subsidies.

The meeting, which involved key Central ministers and was headed by Heavy Industries Minister Praful Patel, confirmed the nation’s plans to transform public and private vehicles through low carbon growth. 

The Government will fund around half of the rupees 22,500 core, and work with auto manufacturers to achieve its aim of putting 6 million electric vehicles – including two-wheelers – on the road by 2020. The rest of the funds will be met by industry and related institutions and academia.

At the meeting, the extension of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s subsidy scheme to incentivize EV sales was also approved

Shri Sundareshan, Secretary, Department of Heavy Industries, said: “What has been approved today is a policy document and more details will come at a later stage.” He added: “This investment will save Rs.30,000 crore in the next eight years on fuel.”

The move comes as new Government research estimates that over the next eight years there will be the demand for 5-7 million electricity-operated vehicles, with over half being EVs.

The report claims that the sale of 6-7 million electric vehicles will help save 2.2-2.25 million tons of fossil fuel consumption by 2020.

Aditi Dass, Director of Technology Programs India, The Climate Group commented: “Some recent announcements pertaining to the EV segment is encouraging. But the growing desire of Government to switch over from fossil fuel dependence will only take us one step ahead in the clean revolution journey. Improved supplies of EVs and the establishment of charging stations are indeed two of the bigger roadblocks, which are now being tackled by the Government and thereby slowly taking the required steps to translate the Indian EV dream into reality.”

Other positive news for EVs this week comes from Pike Research. Its new report has found the global market for electric drive buses will continue to grow over the next six years, with 75,000 expected to be in service around the world by 2018.

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