As the West Bengal government is all set to launch a series of steps to combat air pollution, it is also considering to provide incentives for electric vehicles (EV). The matter was discussed at a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha on October 18.
In the meeting, the Trinamool Congress (TMC)-led government discussed a series of decisions, which were in line with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) directives. The government has decided to phase out all 15-year-old commercial vehicles by making their registration number invalid. The government has also stopped issuing a Pollution-Under-Control (PUC) certificate and Certificate of Fitness (CF) to such vehicles.
The state government has also decided to set up enforcement authorities to check hoarding of fireworks that do not comply with noise and air pollution rules.
Development In West Bengal’s EV Infrastructure So Far
In August 2019, West Bengal government announced at ‘10th Energy Conclave’ organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), its plans to introduce 500 electric buses under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) policy of the central government. Moreover, the West Bengal Urban Development Ministry was also planning to introduce a policy for EV charging stations.
Just last month, the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company (WBSEDCL) announced that it had forwarded a proposal to the ministry of power regarding setting up of 241 EV charging stations in the state.
The proposal stated that around 116 of the proposed charging stations would be set up in state and national highways at a distance of around 25 Km each. The project is expected to cost around INR 125 Cr.
The electricity distribution department is also conducting research to zero down on locations to set up the charging infrastructure.
India To Become The Largest EV Market
In September, the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with Ola Electric Institute, published a report “EV-Ready India- Part 1: Value Chain Analysis of State EV Policies” analysing the EV policies and programmes of 10 state and union territories (UT) of India.
After the analysis, the report pointed out that India has the potential to become the largest EV market in the world.
The Central government is also trying really hard to push EV in India through policies, incentives and tax relaxation. During the introduction of this year’s union budget, Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the GST on EVs has been cut down from 18% to 5%.
The government had also announced an INR 10K Cr for three-year FAME phase 2 for promoting electrification of shared transport, manufacturing of EV batteries and development of charging infrastructure.
Moreover, the central government is reportedly planning to spend around INR 40K Cr on benefits and subsidies, including loans, tax breaks, rebates and assorted benefits, between 2020-21 to 2029-30.