The automotive industry expects the new Maharashtra Electric Vehicle policy to accelerate adoption of electric vehicles and help in developing the charging infrastructure.
The policy, announced by Maharashtra environment minister Aditya Thackeray on Tuesday, has set a target of having 10% of new vehicle registered to be electric by 2025, electrification of 25% of public transport and last mile delivery by 2025, converting 15% of the state transport corporation’s fleet to electric, government vehicles going electric from April 2022 and e-commerce, logistics companies to transit 25% of their fleet transition to electric by 2025.
The policy also offered incentives for setting up public charging stations and aimed at making Maharashtra the country’s top manufacturer of EV in India.
According to Icra, given Maharashtra’s sizeable contribution to overall vehicle sales in India, the state’s EV policy was another step towards achieving faster penetration of EVs in India. Shamsher Dewan, group head and VP, corporate sector ratings, Icra, said the combination of various benefits would help in reducing the price-gap between EVs and ICE significantly, especially for e2Ws and e3Ws. The policy also favoured adoption of e-buses in key cities across the state, Dewan said.
The Maharashtra government plans to set aside `930 crore over the next four years to promote EV adoption and infrastructure which is to be funded through green cess levied on registration of old vehicles and fuel cess, Icra said.
Shailesh Chandra, president, passenger vehicles business, Tata Motors, said the Maharashtra government had come up with a very enabling EV policy that would enable faster transition to electric vehicles. “The support extended in increasing charging infrastructure will offer electric vehicle owners a hassle-free commute,” Chandra said. Tata Motors has just launched a new brand ‘Xpres’ for fleet customers and it starts with an electric sedan targeted at mobility services, corporate and government fleet customers.
For Bajaj Auto, this was an opportunity to expand into the scooter segment in India and opening up of export markets in Asean and Europe. Rakesh Sharma, ED, Bajaj Auto, called it a substantive policy that built upon the central policies and addressed both customers as well as manufacturers of vehicles and auto components which would help expanding the electric market segment. Bajaj Auto has the Chetak brand electric scooter which is currently available only in Pune and Bengaluru and is getting ready for a launch in Nagpur soon.
Rajesh Jejurikar, ED, auto & farm sectors, Mahindra & Mahindra, said while the fiscal benefits would make EVs affordable, the non-fiscal benefits would help develop the overall EV ecosystem in the state. Mahindra has been investing in Maharashtra with the latest one being a dedicated EV technology manufacturing facility in Chakan, Jejurikar said. The focus on EV adoption in the last mile mobility segment augurs well for Mahindra which has the Treo three-wheeler range in this segment. “Last mile mobility in India offers a huge EV penetration opportunity and is set for a massive transformation. We aim to roll-out new, innovative, and customised EV solutions (three and four-wheelers) in both personal and commercial segments that will invigorate India’s last mile mobility and delivery needs.”
Tarun Mehta, CEO and co-founder, Ather Energy, called it a comprehensive policy as it took into account the entire EV ecosystem. Mehta expected the incentives offered for both the demand and supply side would accelerate the adoption and the manufacturing of EVs in the country. Ather Energy is planning to expand presence in Maharashtra where it has retail outlets in Mumbai, Pune and plans to go to Nashik and Nagpur soon.
JBM Auto, that has a presence in the electric bus segment, saw a huge opportunity in the intra-city public transport in Mumbai, Aurangabad, Pune, Nagpur and Nashik. Nishant Arya, vice chairman and MD, JBM Auto, said with 15% of MSRTC buses expected to go electric there was a clear market for over 2,500 electric buses in the next few years as the incentives on offer were attractive. Public charging station on highways every 25 kms for e-buses and e-trucks promoted EV ecosystem holistically, he said.
Cell Propulsion, an electric commercial vehicles company that deploys EVs in logistics and transportation companies, found the emphasis on establishing charging infrastructure was important as it reduced range anxiety and would increase EV penetration in the state. Nakul Kukar, founder and CEO, Cell Propulsion, said they were looking forward to the government’s eCV-centric incentives. With more than 80% of freight being moved by CVs in India, their large-scale electrification would help reduce diesel imports and bring relief from increasing prices.