NITI Aayog favours ‘National Council for Electric Mobility’ for e-vehicle push

The union ministry for road transport and highways has received a draft note from National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog suggesting possible measures, including a “push to Make in India and setting up institutional framework” to get in place the required ecosystem for electric vehicles in the country.

“A draft note has been received (by the ministry) to seek its comments,” a senior transport ministry official, who did not wish to be identified, told Moneycontrol.

NITI Aayog is trying to push forward Centre’s flagship programme, Make in India, through the policy by strengthening the car manufacturing system in India.

“Policy should be formulated keeping in mind entry of foreign players in the market as they have the required experience and expertise,” SP Singh, senior fellow, Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT), an autonomous research body, had told Moneycontrol.

In line with the requirement, NITI Aayog has suggested creation of “institutional framework”.

“They (officials from NITI Aayog) want to promote Make in India through this,” said the official, adding “They are talking of creating some institutional framework for electric vehicles… creating an Electric Mission under NITI Aayog”.

He said that if the proposal gets the ministry’s nod, India might have an “Electric Mobility Board” under an appropriate authority.

“The proposal talks about creating a coordination board for electric mobility under the cabinet secretary… a National Council for Electric Mobility under the finance minister or someone of that stature,” he said.

Gadkari had expressed his desire to have the policy “soon”, if possible by the end of 2017.

“There is no deadline to roll out the policy,” he said adding, “We would like it to come by year end,” a source in the NITI Aayog said.

Moneycontrol has learnt that after formulating a “basic framework”, industry players would be consulted to address their concerns.

“We will take into account problems raised by automobile industry,” a source in the government’s think tank said. “We will, however, create a basic framework before consulting the industry”.

Confirming that 2030 is not the final date for 100 percent electric mobility in India, the source said that 2030 was only the “pronouncement” as Centre is “yet to come out with an action plan”.

The existing battery manufacturing set up in India was a “key issue”. The subsidy framework like Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles in India (FAME India) shall continue.

FAME India, part of National Electric Mobility Mission Plan, was launched by the Modi government in 2015, offering incentives on electric and hybrid vehicles up to Rs 29,000 for bikes and Rs 1.38 lakh on cars.

“The customers can get the incentive in the form of lower cost of hybrid or electric vehicles at the time of its purchase,” Anant Geete, union minister for heavy industries and public sector enterprises, had said at the time of the scheme’s launch.

The ministry of transport is yet to give its nod to the proposal, which in all likelihood will get the assent.

“It is (the steps proposed) all very logical on how to develop the entire ecosystem,” said the official from the ministry adding that “all the persons concerned have to comment” on it before taking it forward.

Electric vehicles in India are less than one percent of the entire automobile market. There were only 2,000 electric cars and 23,000 electric scooters in India in 2016-17.

Source- Money Control