To promote electric vehicles in India, the government has approved green licence plates bearing numbers in white fonts for private e-vehicles and yellow for taxis, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday.
The government also plans to allow youth in the age bracket of 16-18 years to drive electric scooters, besides mandating taxi aggregators to have a certain percentage of e-vehicle fleet.
“The government has approved distinctive green licence plates for electric vehicles to encourage people to use electric vehicles. Such vehicles will be fitted with green licence plates bearing numbers in white fonts for private cars and yellow font for taxis,” Gadkari said.
A notification in this regard will be out in a week’s time, said the Minister, who has been advocating electric mobility promotion.
The purpose behind distinctive number plates is their easy identification for preferential treatment in parking, free entry in congested zones besides other proposed benefits like concessional toll, the road transport and highways minister told PTI.
The measure is aimed at promoting e-vehicle’s use and the government is considering exemption from permits for such vehicles.
“Exemption from permit will be a game changer as restricted permit regime is a major concern. E-rickshaw growth is attributable to the permit exemption and there is scope to extend the exemption to the e-buses, e-taxis, e-autos and e-bikes. E-auto and e-buses may have a big impact since getting a new permit is extremely difficult,” the Minister said.
Boosting demand for e-scooters
Besides, the government is contemplating permitting youth in the age group of 16-18 years to drive e-scooters, which are gearless and this will lead to a big demand for e-scooters, the Minister noted.
Under the Motor Vheicles Act, 1988, those in the age group of 16-18 years are granted licence for below 50 CC gearless scooters.
Incidentally there is no scooter in this category made in the country.
“The government is also contemplating to ask taxi aggregators to have an incremental share of electric vehicles from 2020 onwards, which could be 1 per cent of the fleet every year,” Gadkari said.
Similarly, all public transport operators may also be mandated to provide 1 per cent incremental fleet from 2020 onwards, he added.
Stressing that electric vehicles will bring down vehicular pollution, Gadkari said the government is tightening fuel efficiency norms.
Besides, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways will request the Finance Ministry that the rate of depreciation on EVs may be allowed at 50 per cent as against the rate of 15 per cent for conventional vehicles.
The proposals include bringing down the GST on batteries to 12 per cent at par with the GST on EVs.
As per an estimate, India at present has 1 to 1.5 lakh electric vehicles and it is projected to grow to about 5 per cent of the total vehicles in the next five years, an official said.
Of the about 24 million vehicles sold in India in 2017-18, electric vehicles accounted for barely about 1 per cent, the official added.
India, currently, has four kinds of number plates — white licence plates with numbers on black font for private cars, yellow plates with fonts in black for commercial vehicles, black plates with yellow font letters for self-driven rental vehicles and blue plates with white font letters for Embassies and High Commissions.
Army vehicles on the other hand follow a different registration system given by the defence ministry, while vehicles of the President and governors have red licence plates with the national emblem.