Electric vehicles will have to be affordable in order to be popular, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Tuesday, stressing that subsidising them would not be feasible in the long run. Addressing a Delhi Dialogue and Development Commission workshop on the draft e-vehicle policy of the Delhi government, Kejriwal called upon industry leaders to invest more on research and development of electric vehicles to reduce their market prices.
Incidentally, the draft policy also lays major emphasis on subsidising e-vehicles — ranging from two-wheelers to four-wheelers — for Delhi to have 25 per cent of all vehicle registrations of e-vehicles by 2023.
“The electric vehicle regime cannot be subsidy based. I urge the industry to invest more in research and development so that the prices of such vehicles are brought down. The government can provide the initial impetus,” Kejriwal said.
The CM also said the Delhi government will buy only e-buses in the future if the ongoing procurement turns out to be technologically and financially viable.
The policy, a draft of which was put in public domain last month, states that fully electric buses will comprise at least 50 per cent of all new buses procured for the city fleet – starting with the induction of 1,000 electric buses in 2019.
The CM said the biggest challenge was to make sure that people opt for public transport in large numbers. “The Delhi government has the political will… we had implemented the odd-even scheme despite being told that it had not been very successful elsewhere. But we went ahead and realised people are ready to support all such initiatives,” he said.
Under the plan, the government plans to provide subsidies from an Electric Vehicle Fund, which will be made up of pollution cess on diesel and petrol vehicles, congestion taxes, and other sources.