Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has said that the government is looking to allow minors in the age group of 16 to 18 to ride electric scooters. Under the current Motor Vehicle Act of 1988, people who are between the age of 16 and 18 are allowed to carry a license only for gearless scooters which are 50 cc and below and unfortunately, there is no such two-wheeler sold in India. The Union Minister believes that this could definitely be a catalyst in the young crowd moving towards electric two-wheelers in the coming years.
Gadkari said this along with confirming the fact that government has approved distinctive green license plates for electric vehicles with white fonts for private cars and yellow fonts for taxis. "The government has approved distinctive green licence plates for electric vehicles to encourage people to use electric vehicles," Gadkari said.
The reason behind different number plates for electric vehicles is for easy identification for preferential treatment in parking lots, free entry in congested zones and other proposed benefits such as concessional toll charges.
The government is also mulling on taxi aggregators having a certain percentage of their fleet consist of electric vehicles. The measure is aimed at promoting the use of electric vehicles and the government is considering exemption from permits for them as well.
"The government is also contemplating to ask taxi aggregators to have an incremental share of electric vehicles from 2020 onwards, which could be 1 per cent of the fleet every year," Gadkari said.
Similarly, all public transport operators may also be mandated to provide 1 per cent incremental fleet from 2020 onwards, he added.
Also, the ministry of road transport and highways will also request the finance ministry to keep the depreciation rate at 50 per cent as opposed to 15 per cent on regular vehicles. Current estimates suggest that India at present has 1 to 1.5 lakh electric vehicles and the number is projected to grow to about 5 per cent of the total vehicles in the next five years. India sold 24 million vehicles in 2017-2018 and barely one per cent of that amount accounted for the total EVs sold.