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Top 3 EV News in India - Jan 2022
Nimit Arora
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With Electric Vehicles getting popular day by day, news related to EVs is becoming a common sight in media. Here we’ll have a look at 3 trending news about EVs being reported by mainstream media:

1. Central Government’s revised guidelines pertaining to Electric Vehicles:

A. Government allows use of existing power connections to charge EVs:

The government has allowed people to charge their EVs using the existing electricity connections at homes or offices.

In a statement, the Ministry of Power said, "Owners may charge their EVs at their residences or offices using their existing electricity connections. The tariff applicable for domestic consumption shall be applicable for domestic charging."

The revised guidelines are a welcome move because apart from the high cost of EVs, another major cause for slow EV adoption is lack of charging infrastructure.

B. Government allows allotment of land available with public entities for installation of public charging stations:

The government has opened the doors for offering land owned by government/public entities to government companies & private entities for setting up public charging stations on a revenue-sharing basis. This move is set to boost EV charging network expansion plans of public & private companies like Indian Oil, Reliance-BP, Tata Power, etc.

Electricity will be provided at a fixed rate of Rs.1/kWh. Payment will be paid to the land-owning agency on a quarterly basis. This contract will be for a period of 10 years.

C. No license required for charging station:

As per the revised guidelines, any individual/entity is free to set up public charging stations without a license, provided that such stations meet the technical, safety and performance standards laid down by the Power Ministry.

2. Maharashtra Government extends EV benefits till 31 March, 2022:

Maharashtra state government's 'early bird benefit scheme' for select EV buyers has been extended till 31 March, 2022. Earlier, this scheme was till 31 December, 2021.

The Maharashtra EV policy provides an incentive of Rs.5000 per kWh of the battery capacity, with maximum incentive capped at Rs.1.5 lakh. Apart from this, there is an additional incentive of up to Rs.1 lakh, which brings the total subsidy to a whopping Rs.2.5 lakh.

Only 2 models in the electric 4-wheeler category qualify for these benefits: Tata Nexon EV & Tata Tigor EV. The subsidy can be availed by vehicles with a battery capacity of up to 30 kWh. That is why other electric cars in the Indian market like Hyundai Kona & MG ZS EV don't qualify (they have batteries larger than 30 kWh).

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Maharashtra’s early bird incentives make it the most generous state to buy an EV. The base incentive for electric cars in Maharashtra is same as Gujarat & Delhi, but the additional early bird incentive for up to Rs.1 lakh is what sets it apart.

A few Tata Motors dealerships revealed that there were a significant number of bookings of the eligible models, however delays in policy implementation, combined with the ongoing semiconductor shortage issue & intermittent covid delays resulted in a huge order backlog.

This scheme extension has been welcomed by dealerships & customers.

3. Budget 2022 & Expectations for the EV industry:

Budget 2022 will be presented on 1 February, 2022. The EV industry is optimistic about what there is in store for them. Unlike earlier years, the EV industry is now mainstream.

The auto department of Grant Thornton Bharat, an advisory organization said, “There is a need to make EVs affordable for the end consumer. Also to reduce the cost of e-mobility and focus on achieving net-zero carbon emission goals, there is a need to provide necessary fiscal support to start-up enterprises.”

A fundamental expectation from the budget is seeking stimulus to expand the charging infrastructure at a faster pace. A more efficient regulatory approval mechanism will also benefit the sector. Lowering GST rates on raw materials and waiving GST on R&D will also help. There are expectations from the fleet industry as well which involves tax breaks for using EV fleets and waiving off toll taxes.

The ‘Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV)’ has urged the Centre to provide incentives on exports of electric scooters & cars.

There are demands to give time-bound concessionary custom rates for imports of EVs to foreign EV players.

In an Economic Times Online Survey, one question related to pre-budget expectations of common people on EVs was asked. Here are the findings:

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The Research Department of Ventura Securities stated that stock investors are expecting more incentives for EV industry and its value chain system.

Car rental company ‘Zoomcar’ expects tax incentives for electric car rental segment.

Battery-swapping service provider’ Chargeup’ expects reduction in GST on purchase of batteries and clarity on the concern that “GST on batteries when purchased as a standalone item is 18% whereas that on EVs as a unit is only 5%.”

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