Delhi-based think-tank, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) welcomed the notification of Electric Vehicle Policy by the Delhi government to achieve the target of 25 per cent electrification of new vehicle fleet by 2024 and said this notification will set the stage for greening of the economic recovery.
Within three years, 25 per cent of all new vehicle registrations will be battery-operated electric vehicles. This is expected to transform the market from the current level of electrification.
According to the VAHAN database of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, electric vehicles were only 3.2 per cent of the new vehicles registered in Delhi in 2019-20.
Roychowdhury, executive director-research and advocacy, CSE and head of the Centre’s air pollution and sustainable mobility programmes said,“It is commendable that this much-awaited notification has happened despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and economic slowdown. In fact, this policy is being seen as a stimulus strategy to boost jobs and economy.”
“This step in Delhi can not only accelerate zero emissions trajectory to reduce air pollution and toxic emissions from internal combustion engines, it can also have a national spin-off.According to the last available Road Transport Year Book of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in 2016-17, Delhi is ninth among all states and top among all cities in terms of cumulative vehicle registrations,” Roychowdhury added.
The proposed 25 per cent transformation of Delhi’snew vehicle market can catalyse electric vehicle production and bring more product diversity, say CSE experts. State-level action is critical to achieve nation-widescale.
According to CSE’s analysis of the VAHAN database revealed that while overall vehicle sales have nosedived during the lockdown period, electric vehicles had plummeted even lower, especially when the country went into a lockdown. Nationally, the registration of electric vehicles droppedby a whopping 93.4 per cent between March and April 2020.
“But, the sector recovered to some extent, registering a seven-fold increase between April and July, although the numbers were still less than about 50 per cent of the March 2020 registration level. In Delhi, the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on electric vehicle registration was just as bad, reducing it by 89 per cent between March and April 2020, while recovering in June and July. The challenge,therefore,is to recover from this abysmally low level to meet the 25 per cent target by 2024,” CSE said.
“It is now important that the Delhi government refines the strategy for implementation to meet the milestones for incentives, charging network and requisite infrastructure to achieve this target by 2024,” “It is hoped that the economic recovery nation-wide will include fiscal stimulus to accelerate the electric vehicle programme,” CSE said.
It is encouraging that Delhi’s move aligns with the global trend in which several major vehicle markets have stayed on course to continue to support the electric vehicle programme despite the economic slowdown, it said.