Not setting deadline for transition to EVs: Nitin Gadkari
Nitin Gadkari said his ministry has not proposed any deadline for transition to electric vehicles.
Responding to a question on the Niti Aayog’s draft guidelines — that set a timeline for phasing out vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICE) — Gadkari said, “We will not set any deadline for electric mobility. A lot of state governments are procuring electric buses... the transition will happen as a natural process.”
A government official told ET the ministry was not looking at imposing the deadline proposed by the Niti Aayog for phasing out diesel-run vehicles either. EVs will, however, continue to be incentivised through road tax waiver and land allotment for charging infrastructure.
In June, a steering committee, headed by Niti Aayog chief executive Amitabh Kant, had, in its report, drawn up an extensive plan for replacement of various vehicle categories by EVs in certain time frames. All three-wheelers and two-wheelers below 150cc would have to go electric by 2023 and 2025, respectively.
However, sectoral experts feel these proposals are isolated from the impact on ancillary industries, and the government should only act as an enabler for shift to e-mobility. The official quoted above said, “India is a leading player in the two-wheeler segment in South East Asia. Around 11% GST comes from the automobile sector, which also contributes 7% to the GDP. We are not setting any deadline, although we will continue to incentivise electric vehicles.”
Gadkari has maintained that he will call a wider stakeholders’ consultation before setting any deadlines for transition to electric vehicles, which ET reported on June 7.
The auto sector is witnessing its worst slowdown in nearly two decades and is lobbying for a relief package. “The minister’s statement comes in the backdrop of an unprecedented slowdown in the automobile sector,” said Vishwas Udgirkar, partner, Deloitte. “The government should look at incentivising EVs but leave the task of phasing out ICE vehicles to the industry. Ultimately, when EVs become attractive, the transition will happen naturally.”