Thinktank gives manufacturers two weeks for EV adaptation blueprint

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Scooter and motorbike manufacturers have been given just two weeks to produce a blueprint for electric vehicle adaptation.

Major businesses Bajaj Auto, Hero MotoCorp and TVS have pushed back against proposals from central government to ban non-electric sales of two-wheeled vehicles with an engine capacity of more than 150cc from 2025 onwards.

Manufacturers argued the lack of an established supply chain, charging infrastructure or skilled labor would mean such a sudden transition would further disrupt a market already suffering its worst slump for two decades.

Officials from central government policy thinktank the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog met executives from the three manufacturing giants and have given them a fortnight to come up with an alternative plan.

A big market

India is one of the world’s largest two-wheeler markets, with sales of more than 20 million scooters and motorbikes last year. To combat air pollution, reduce India’s dependence on oil imports and generate employment, the government wants a shift to EV production.

Elsewhere, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has proposed ending fees for the registration or renewal of certificates for battery operated vehicles.

“In order to give a boost to battery-operated or electric vehicles in the country, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has initiated steps for providing for differential registration fees under the Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989,” the ministry said in a statement.

Last month, NITI Aayog recommended ride hailing firms replace all diesel and petrol vehicles with EVs by 2030. The cabinet proposal included the replacement of all diesel and petrol vehicles belonging to central ministries, agencies and public sector bodies and a pilot program of e-highways fitted with overhead electricity networks to enable trucks and buses to operate as electric vehicles on national highways.