While the prices of petrol and diesel fuels are currently at a very high level, many people are considering shifting to electric vehicles (EVs). One of the major deterrents people face against EVs is the fact that they are comparatively more expensive compared to internal combustion engine (ICE) powered vehicles. Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari has now stated that the cost of EVs in India will drop to the level of petrol vehicles in the next two years.
“Within two years, the cost of EVs will come down to a level that will be at par with their petrol variants. Already GST is only 5% on EVs and the cost of lithium ion batteries is also declining. Besides, the government has already framed a policy allowing petrol pumps to set up EV charging stations. In two years there will be a lot [of] charging points across India as well,” said Nitin Gadkari during a webinar, organised by The Sustainability Foundation, Denmark, in the national capital on Sunday evening.
He further stated that the per kilometre cost of a petrol-based vehicle is Rs 10, that of diesel is Rs 7 and for EVs it is Re 1.
As of now, only two to three electric car variants cost below Rs 15,00,000 in India, while the price of two-wheeler and three-wheeler electric vehicles have dropped to almost at par with the existing petrol counterparts. The price of electric four-wheelers will have to drop considering the fact that the Indian government has set a target of 30% EV sales penetration for private cars, 70% for commercial vehicles, 40% for buses and 80% for two- and three-wheelers by 2030.
Apart from the price, Gadkari also revealed a potential pilot project which is currently in its planning stages, under which the government is looking to install an electric highway system in the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway which can be electrified using solar power energy. The government is also looking to set up charging points at fuel stations.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has also laid out a plan to install at least 700 EV charging stations across its major highways in the country by 2023, which will be spread across a range of 40-60kms.
Gadkari further stated that the government is also focusing on ensuring that EV charging stations get their electricity from renewable sources. The government will soon also launch India’s first fully-electric tractor.
“Electric two-wheeler and electric car sales have seen a rise of 145% and 190% respectively when compared to the pre-Covid period,” said Gadkari.
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