Govt takes U-turn on policy for EVs; Nitin Gadkari says action plan enough

Union minister Nitin Gadkari at the inauguration of two electric vehicle charging points in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo: PTI
In a U-turn on its ambitious electric vehicle (EV) policy, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said an action plan had been put in place for the proposal, which would encourage manufacturing and use of EVs.

“There is no need for an EV policy. An action plan has been prepared. Each ministry has started implementing the action plan,” NITI Aayog Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Kant said, while addressing the media after Gadkari inaugurated two electric charging stations on the NITI Aayog’s premises.

Gadkari, who has been vocal in his preference for EVs over conventional ones that run on petrol and diesel, said since the action plan for such vehicles was ready, the need for a policy did not arise.

Gadkari’s latest position is at variance with his earlier statement that an EV policy was awaiting the clearance of the Cabinet.

The government was planning an EV policy with the aim of 100 per cent electric mobility by 2030. However, the automobile industry has in the past few months raised concerns over the execution of such a plan.

In an interview to Business Standard earlier this month, Gadkari had said, “We want electric, ethanol, biodiesel, and methanol buses to ply in the country. It will help address the problem of air pollution affecting major cities. We want to adopt the Transport for London (TfL) model. Nine operators in London and the corporation bring out a tender on the basis of a per kilometre charge.”

Gadkari had emphasised that the government was not against the use of petrol and diesel cars but at the same time wanted to bring in new technology for sustainable transportation. 

“Accelerated adoption of electric and shared vehicles can save $60 billion in diesel and petrol costs, while cutting down as much as 1 gigatonne of carbon emissions by 2030,” government think tank NITI Aayog has said in a joint report with the Rock Mountain Institute.

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