NITI Aayog earlier this month released a Public Consultation document on Zero Emission Mobility. The document as it claims, aims to align with the Government of India’s vision to have a policy that facilitates a transition only Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) sale in 2030. The consultation specifically seeks opinions on 12 aspects on the proposed policy namely
- The global scenario of ZEV in the past few years and future forecasts in terms of technology and performance.
- Prioritizing the first adopters of ZEV: Which category of vehicles should be prioritized, whether public of private fleet?
- Charging Infrastructure
- Manufacturing: Policy options to promote manufacturing of EVs and batteries
- Balancing energy demand for EVs with influx of Renewable Energy (RE)
- Regulatory reforms/amendments
- Fiscal and non-fiscal incentives
- Promoting Research & Development (R&D) in EV and energy storage
- Skill development
- Recycling and treatment at end of life of EV and battery
- The general user perspective of EVs
- Potential impact on the automobile industry
NITI Aayog’s open consultation is a welcome step considering it is looking to formulate a road-map that involves multiple government ministries. For once, it is a real test of its ability to break the silos in the government and get every ministry on board through this policy, the very purpose it was entrusted to do at inception.
India’s ambitious Electric Vehicle vision: What does it mean?
Is it too late?
As it stands, the draft of the national Electric Vehicle (EV) policy was first submitted to the inter-ministerial group around September-October 2017. There has been no traction at the ministry level ever since. In the mean time, Karnataka has come up with a comprehensive policy on energy storage and electric vehicles and Telangana is close to releasing its policy.
Irrespective of what happens with the existing draft of the EV policy, there is not much that can get into it from the public consultation that NITI Aayog is currently hosting unless the proposal is any radical step. Sources from the team have already confirmed to me that they are already aware of the popular schemes and are definitely not keen to hear them again through this process. On the other side, the entire process could actually delay the release of a policy. It is definitely a welcome step to open the doors for public consultation, but NITI Aayog should focus its efforts on plugging the regulatory hurdles that are already known. It would enable private players to actual invest and create a market rather than wait for a full policy. All said, now that an opportunity is given, I will definitely submit my views.