Nearly 400,000 electric vehicles in India, UP leads race, Delhi at 2nd spot

Electric vehicles are slowly, but evidently, becoming the flavour of the season. The Narendra Modi government has set an ambitious target of converting 15 per cent of the total vehicles in the country to electric by 2024. But how many electric vehicles do we even have currently? According to the transport ministry, nearly 400,000 registered electric vehicles run in India, reported The Times of India. 

Uttar Pradesh leads the electric race with nearly 139,000 battery-operated vehicles, followed by 76,000 e-vehicles in Delhi, according to Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari. The third and fourth spot is grabbed by Karnataka and Maharashtra, respectively. Surprisingly, Assam, with 15,192 e-vehicles, is way ahead of all northeastern states and several other states in the rest of India, the English daily reported. 

Most of these electric vehicles are e-rickshaws and e-carts, which received legal status in 2015 after a law was passed to recognise them as motor vehicles. 

However, the actual number of e-vehicles could be much more as a lot of e-rickshaws operate without any registration. 

To an electric future 

Nitin Gadkari on Friday rooted for electric vehicles and said that bio-fuels are a cost-effective, pollution free and indigenous source of energy. 

"Ethanol is biofuel produced from biomass and segregated municipal waste. The government has brought in a new policy to increases its production and set the price of the fuel at Rs 59 per litre," Gadkari said last week. 

In October 2018, the transport ministry granted exemption to battery-operated commercial vehicles and those running on ethanol and methanol.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the 2019 Budget also announced an interest deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh on loans taken for the purchase of electric vehicles. 

Sitharaman also announced customs duty exemption on lithium-ion cells, which will help lower the cost of batteries in India as they are not produced locally. 

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