The government’s new policies will not only push for EVs at a larger scale and become a lucrative new market for clean-energy investors and manufacturers but will also help propel India towards its ambitious target as set in the Paris Climate Accords.
Blue and unpolluted skies, clean air and a greener future – that has been one of the key environmental takeaways from the doom and gloom of the coronavirus pandemic.
One of the biggest learning lessons for consumers and industries has been the eagerness to embrace a clean-energy future and build a more resilient world for the next generation.
And that’s more than a mere sentiment for the clean-energy industry the world over. According to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), registrations of new electric vehicles (EVs) in Europe doubled in the first quarter of 2020 despite most vehicle dealerships being closed in the latter part of the quarter. In May, in the UK, when new gasoline and diesel registrations were still down around 90per cent compared to the same time last year, EV sales were up 21.5 per cent.
In India, the government went a step further and used the prevailing sentiment to further boost the nascent EV industry, with the Narendra Modi government initiating more policies to promote the sale of green vehicles in the country.
The government aims to create an ecosystem that will help upscale electric mobility, help the broader national agenda, and reduce pollution and the oil import bill. In August 2020, the Ministry of Road and Highways allowed the sale of EVs without batteries. The move would benefit customers as they would like to spend less money while buying and later invest in EV batteries for a greener environment. It also encourages the battery swapping (EV) infrastructure. Around a month later, in September 2020, the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Heavy Equipment sanctioned 670 new electric buses and 241 charging stations under the FAME II scheme. The FAME II scheme, which is applicable for three years until 2022, plans to support the electrification of shared and private transportation by providing subsidies for 7000 e-buses, 1 million e-2 wheelers, 50,000 e-4 wheelers, and 500,000 e-3 wheelers. The government has earmarked $1.5 million simply to promote charging stations.
The results of those proactive measures have been justified by data and policy announcements.
The lockdown period to curtail the spread of Covid-19 in India saw pollution levels dropping to the lowest levels since 2018. Reduced economic activity due to the fast-spreading pandemic led to a reduction of 15 per cent in Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) levels compared to 2019. The government’s new policies thus will not only push for EVs at a larger scale and become a lucrative new market for clean-energy investors and manufacturers but will also help propel India towards its ambitious target as set in the Paris Climate Accords.
In fact, India is the only G20 country on track to achieve renewable energy targets under the 2 Degree Celsius warming future, especially compared to the top three emitters US, China, and the EU. Although no country has a renewable energy target set for the 1.5 Degrees Celsius warming future, India’s initiatives serve as a prime example for the world’s major economies to follow suit. Its policies in Electric Vehicles and their related infrastructure will only help secure a clean and investor-friendly future for India.