With fuel prices rising and pollution levels too moving in the same direction, the Govt. of India has approved a Rs.2,300 crore plan to boost electric and hybrid vehicle production in the next eight years.
Due to the extremely high costs of the technology involved as well as an almost non-existent infrastructure to facilitate the usage of such vehicles, manufacturers are focussing mainly on low emission cars. However, the central govt. has set itself an ambitious target of having 6 crore electric and hybrid vehicles on Indian roads by 2020. 4-5 crore of such vehicles are expected to be two-wheelers.
According to the plan, the govt. would provide Rs.1,300-1,400 crore of this investment, while the remainder is funded by companies. The plan will include specific schemes which will take into consideration the subsidies that will be created to reduce the overall cost of such vehicles, R&D and infrastructure. Individual schemes will be launched later as the plan unfolds.
It is interesting to note that in April, the govt. had withdrawn the Rs. 1 lakh subsidy it was offering on electric vehicles, the effect of which was immediately noticeable with the demand for electric vehicles falling to almost nil.