“Committed to making Delhi the electric car capital”: Kailash Gahlot

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New Delhi: The Delhi government’s electric vehicle policy marked two years since its launch this month. The Delhi Government had launched the Delhi Electric Vehicle Policy 2020 on 7 August 2020 with an aim to make Delhi the Electric Vehicle Capital of India and accelerate the adoption of EVs across all vehicle segments.

In February 2021, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had also launched the Switch Delhi campaign to spread awareness about the benefits of electric vehicles for a clean and pollution-free Delhi. This month marks two years since the completion of the Delhi EV Policy 2020.

The policy has brought significant disruption to Delhi’s electric car landscape and proved to be an example for adoption in other states. Before the implementation of the policy, the electric vehicle market in Delhi was driven by the E-rickshaw, which accounted for nearly 85 percent of the total electric vehicle sales in Delhi.

People’s interest in E-rickshaws was due to the promise of higher income with lower fuel costs. As there are constant concerns about air pollution in the city, the Delhi government is committed to promoting the maximum number of vehicles in Delhi with emission-free fuel.

Since two-thirds of new vehicle registrations in Delhi comprise of 2W, the policy focus was to shift the conversion of 2W and commercial 3W segments to the electric segment.

The success of the Delhi EV Policy can be attributed to the i3 model of Incentivisation, Innovation and Inclusion.

Encouragement

So far, Delhi has offered an incentive of nearly 100 million euros for the sale of electric vehicles, the largest subsidy amount offered by an Indian state. To create demand and purchase vehicles for consumers; the insurance offered purchase incentives for different categories of electric vehicles.

Additionally, Delhi waived road tax and registration fees for all Battery Electric vehicles, making them even more affordable. As a result, 62,483 electric cars have been sold in the last two years since the inception of the Delhi EV policy. With a huge number of electric vehicles plying in Delhi, it automatically encouraged charging point operators (CPOs) to deploy over 2,000 charging points and battery swapping stations to solve the range anxiety problem of all EV users.

Innovation

The Delhi EV Policy focused on ensuring convenience for citizens buying and charging electric vehicles in the state. In February 2021, the Delhi government along with Delhi Transco Limited (DTL) launched a tender for 100 locations in Delhi at once, which will help add nearly 900 charging points and over 100 battery swapping stations.

One could charge their electric vehicles at less than Rs 2 per unit at these facilities. The lowest in the country. To make EV charging affordable, Delhi had already introduced one of the lowest EV tariffs in the country at just Rs 4.5 per unit.

Enabling technology-based solutions was important to facilitate access to various services. The Delhi government launched a single window facility in November 2021 to facilitate purchase of EV chargers from DISCOM’s online portal through over 10 impaneled vendors and provided a 3-year warranty on the price including installation.

The Delhi government also created an online portal in association with Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL) to purchase electric cars and avail 5% interest subsidy. In May 2022, Delhi became the first state to encourage electric cycling in India.

Inclusion

For the policy to be successful, it is important that all relevant stakeholders are consulted and the opinions of experts are taken into account before the policy is formulated. The Delhi government ensured that all stakeholders’ views and suggestions were incorporated in policy formulation.

It played a crucial role in the success of Delhi’s EV policy by removing bottlenecks while implementing the policy on the ground. Apart from offering incentives to private vehicles, the Delhi government has also prioritized the procurement of electric buses for its urban transport fleet.

There are already 150 electric buses plying on Delhi’s roads and the state will see nearly 2000 electric buses by the end of 2023, which is the highest in the country. Electrification of 55 bus depots is underway: 3 have already been electrified, 17 would be electrified by June 23 and 35 by December 23, making 55 electrified bus depots.

In addition, the policy has also brought women to the forefront of the transition to electric vehicles. The Delhi government reserved 33% of the 4,261 electric car licenses issued by the government specifically for women.

Delhi’s Electric Vehicle Policy aims to promote rapid adoption of electric vehicles, with a target of 25% of all new vehicle registrations by 2024. Delhi is already halfway there, and as of March 22, EV sales are at 12.5%.

On this occasion, Delhi Transport Minister Shri Kailash Gahlot further stated, “We are committed to make Delhi the world under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal.”

“On one hand Electric vehicles will help Delhi reduce emissions and air pollution, on the other hand it will also create more jobs, increase the income of commercial vehicles and car owners with lower cost of ownership and enable users to drive vehicles that don’t sound comfortable,” he added.



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