Electric Mobility: Strong & Clear Government Policy needed to promote Electric Vehicles

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Electric Mobility: Strong & Clear Government Policy Needed to Promote Electric Vehicles.

The transition to Electric mobility has accelerated in the recent years all across major economies. This has been encouraged and promoted by policy makers due to the several benefits that come with it. They are economic self reliance, enhanced national security, energy independence, opening up of investment opportunities, creating employment opportunities, major cost savings for fleet operators like the state transport corporations, improvement in air quality, reduced health spending and higher life expectancy for citizens. In fact this transition has been accepted as inevitable by all the industry players and policy makers all over the world. 

All major economies like China, European Union and the USA have taken major leaps towards transitioning to electric mobility. This leap has been possible in those countries through consistent and clear government policy over several years, which has given confidence to start-ups and established players to invest and innovate in the transition to electric mobility. The policies of these countries have ranged from providing tax exemptions to Electric Vehicles (EVs), government grants to EV buyers, subsidizing charging infrastructure,  taxing fossil fuel vehicles, mandating vehicle manufacturers to produce EVs, legislating aggressively lower emission standards and even outright ban on sale of fossil fuel vehicles in the next 5 to 10 years. 

India is yet to make any major strides in this spear. India has given the push through its “FAME I” and “FAME II” policies which provides subsidies to EVs. However this has not resulted in major EV uptake in the Indian market. The “NITI AAYOG” (Governments advisory body on policy) convened a meeting on 21/06/2019 with the auto industry to push forward a policy that would encourage major transition to EVs in the two and three wheeler space. It has been reported in the media that the established fossil fuel two wheeler manufactures pushed back and discouraged the panel from moving forward with the policy and advised against setting any aggressive targets for transition. However it is encouraging to note that panel stood their grounds and advocated for a strong policy encouraging transition. The auto manufactures have been given two weeks to time to prepare a report outlining the path to transition.

The conventional vehicle manufacturing industry and the Oil industries lobby against any policy advocating electric mobility is to be expected. The investment opportunity in solving the climate crises is a multi trillion dollar opportunity across the world. The transition to electric mobility is an important part of that opportunity. In fact we are at the crux of unleashing a new industry that has the potential to employee more people. Such an opportunity cannot be compromised to protect the interest of a few legacy auto makers who refuse to see the change that is coming.

I petition the government and “NITI AAYOG” not to give in to the industry lobby and firmly put forward a policy that not only subsidies EVs but also mandates auto manufacturers to produce EVs. Government should also bring legislation on tougher emission standards. The policy should be brave enough and levy carbon tax on new Fossil fuel vehicles that would keep increasing every year. Revenue from this tax should be used to subsidies EV infrastructure.  I invite the members of the public to support this petition demanding the union government to come out with a policy that would enable quick transition to Electric mobility.

Thank you.