On a day when the government reduced GST (Goods and Services Tax) on electric vehicles, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that Dholera SIR in Gujarat should “become the first green city in the world” where either Bharat Stage 6 (BS6) certified vehicles or electric vehicles would ply.
Addressing a conference on E-mobility organised by CII on Saturday, Kant said, “Dholera should become the first green city of the world and set an example of a city where there will be no combustion engine vehicles.” He said Dholera, which is in the process of building the basic infrastructure for a “Greenfield City”, should permit either BS6 vehicles or green vehicles to ply within the SIR.
“At Dholera, EV (Electric Vehicles) charging stations are being planned at every one kilometre. Dholera should allow only electric vehicles to be registered. Register EVs with zero registration fee and zero road tax. Give green number plates for the registration of EVs and deploy a vast network of charging infrastructure supporting fast charging and slow charging at homes. It should set up gigafactories for domestic manufacturing of battery cells and packs for which we are pushing from the Government of India,” said Kant, addressing the gathering through video-conferencing.
He said Dholera SIR was “the biggest planned effort by the Government of India and Government of Gujarat to create top-class quality infrastructure”.
The NITI Aayog CEO said initial plan is to focus on electrification of two-wheelers, three-wheelers and buses.
“Two and three-wheelers contribute almost 80 per cent to India’s domestic automobile sales. It is important to provide impetus to electrification of these two segments to provide size and scale to India’s e-mobility efforts,” Kant said buses were the third segment that will be at the centre of government’s push for electrification. He said the government was looking to get OEMs (Original Equipment Manufac-turers) to places like Dholera SIR. “Batteries account for almost 40 per cent of total purchase cost of EVs today. Domestic battery manufacturing is a massive market opportunity for India to rapidly enable the transition to electric vehicles,” he said.
He said existing infrastructure of Oil Marketing Companies is being fully utilised to create charging infrastructure for e-vehicles in urban areas and on highways.
“Forecast indicate that electric vehicles can reach price parity with combustion engine vehicles by 2024,” he said. Kant could not be present in Ahmedabad for the event due to an extended session of the Lok Sabha and crucial GST council meeting, which cut the GST rates on electric vehicles to five per cent from 12 per cent and that for electric vehicle chargers to 5 per cent from the 18 per cent.