The success for electric cars in India has been largely elusive due to the lack of infrastructure and the high cost of acquisition, which has made these cars a rare sight on our roads. However, you might soon be able to get an electric car without burning a hole in your pocket. In a recent statement, Minister of Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy, Piyush Goyal said that the Indian government is working on a scheme to provide electric cars on a zero down payment option.
The government is aiming to make the country, a 100 per cent electric vehicle nation by 2030. Elaborating on the proposal, Piyush Goyal stated that the government is working on the viability of providing an electric car for zero down payment. While the acquisition cost will be free, people can pay the installments out of the savings on petroleum products. The scheme will be self financing as per the minister and will not need any support from the government or any other kind of investment from other people. The aim is to make India, the first country of its size to have 100 per cent electric cars by 2030.
Also Read: Review: Mahindra e20
Quite an ambitious target, the government is optimistic about achieving the large figure but also acknowledges that innovation and scale will be important elements in making this proposal a reality. Not to forget, the move towards electric and hybrid vehicles will also help reduce fossil fuel dependency, which will help decline oil imports, leading to extensive monetary savings. As a result, the ministry is also working to see if the savings can be monetized to provide cheaper electricity for charging these cars.
The move will trigger a host of manufacturers to introduce electric cars in the country. Given the high costs and almost negligible demand at present, only a handful of electric and hybrid cars are sold in the country. The proposed scheme could see car makers like Nissan, Toyota among others introduce their respective electric offerings. Last year, the government introduced its Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric vehicles (FAME) initiative, in order to provide subsidies on electric and hybrid cars, which encouraged even mass market players like Maruti Suzuki to introduce hybrid technology on their vehicles.
The growing inclination towards environment-friendly fuels has also triggered several domestic start-ups to manufacture electric vehicles, the latest of the lot being Ather Energy. However, it would be too early to comment on how quickly will the government push the proposed scheme into place. A meeting in the first week of April is said to be held on the matter, in order to see if the ambitious scheme can, in fact, be pushed into place.