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Govt plans to set up charging infrastructure across 69,000 petrol pumps

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New Delhi: The government is planning to set up at least one e-charging kiosk at around 69,000 petrol pumps across the country with an aim to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday.

The Road Transport and Highways Minister while addressing a virtual conference said that the government has taken several steps to promote electric vehicles which include reduction in GST to 5 per cent, allowing delinking of battery cost of 2-3 wheelers from vehicle cost as it accounts for nearly 30 per cent of the cost etc.

“Battery charging ecosystem is very important…government is planning set up at least one electric vehicle charging kiosk at around 69 thousand petrol pumps across the country to induce people to go for electric mobility,” the minister was quoted as saying in a release. Stressing that India is poised to become a global automobile manufacturing hub in the next five years, Gadkari asked the automobile industry to push for manufacturing flex engines which have versatility to use petrol or ethanol/CNG as fuels.

“Our auto industry has made significant strides in terms of development of different designs and models, robust R&D, huge market, stable government frame-work and bright and young engineering minds. India already is the largest manufacturer of two-wheelers in the world,” he said.


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Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari okays “Green Tax” for older, polluting vehicles

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New Delhi: The government has proposed to levy a “green tax” on old polluting vehicles, in a bid to control the rising levels of pollution in the country.

Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari has approved the proposal, a government statement said on Monday.

According to the proposal, transport vehicles older than eight years could be charged Green Tax at the time of renewal of fitness certificate, at the rate of 10 to 25 % of road tax, while personal vehicles to be charged Green Tax at the time of renewal of registration certification after 15 years.

The proposal will now go to the states for consultation before it is formally notified.

“We are empowering the state government to levy a higher road tax for older, polluting vehicles. The green tax will be part of the road tax collected by the government,” a senior government official told ET about the development.

These are draft guidelines which will go for stakeholders consultation, and will be implemented after approval from State governments, the official added.

A higher green tax, to the tune of 50% of road tax for vehicles being registered in highly polluted cities will be levied, the Centre has proposed.

Vehicles like strong hybrids, electric vehicles and alternate fuels like CNG, ethanol,LPG, besides those used in farming, such as tractors, harvestors, tillers, will be exempt from such tax.

“It is estimated that commercial vehicles, which constitute about 5% of the total vehicle fleet , contribute about 65-70% of total vehicular pollution. The older fleet, typically manufactured before the year 2000 constitute less that 1 % of the total fleet but contributes around 15% of total vehicular pollution. These older vehicles pollute 10-25 times more than modern vehicles,” the statement from the ministry of road transport and highways said.

Gadkari also approved the policy of deregistration and scrapping of vehicles owned by government department and PSUs, which are above 15 years in age. It is to be notified, and will come into effect from 1st April, 2022.

Revenue collected from the Green Tax will be kept in a separate account and used for tackling pollution, and for States to set up state-of-art facilities for emission monitoring, the ministry has proposed.


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Evergrande’s electric car unit gets funding to compete with Tesla, Nio in China

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Evergrande Group Chairman Xu Jiayin attends Evergrande New Energy Auto Global Strategic Partners Summit on November 12, 2019 in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province of China.

VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images

GUANGZHOU, China — Shares of the electric vehicle unit of Chinese property giant Evergrande surged as much as 67% on Monday after the company raised significant funding through a new share sale.

China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group surged to an all-time-high of 50 Hong Kong dollars before paring some of those gains. Shares of the company closed at 45.35 Hong Kong dollars.

The stock rocketed after the Chinese electric car company issued 952.38 million shares to six investors at a price of $27.30 Hong Kong dollars and raised net proceeds of 26 billion Hong Kong dollars ($3.35 billion).

The funding is another sign that China’s electric car market is heating up, and Evergrande could pose a challenge to Tesla as well as domestic rivals such as Nio and Xpeng Motors.

Last year, Evergrande showed off six new electric vehicles under a brand called Hengchi, with the hope of starting production this year. The company has not sold a single car yet.

In September, the company raised around 4 billion Hong Kong dollars through the sale of shares to investors including Chinese internet giant Tencent and ride-hailing service Didi.

China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group is also preparing for a listing on Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style Science and Technology Innovation Board, or the Star Market.

China’s electric car companies have been aggressively raising capital to ramp up production and take a lead in the competitive market.

Xpeng Motors raised $1.5 billion in an initial public offering in the U.S. last year and this month secured a credit line of 12.8 billion yuan ($1.98 billion).

This month, BYD — the Chinese electric carmaker backed by American billionaire Warren Buffett — said it raised 29.9 billion Hong Kong dollars through the issuance of new shares.


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electric vehicles: Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles calls for rejig of FAME II or reintroduction of FAME I

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New Delhi: Ahead of the upcoming Union Budget, Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) has asked Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to either rejig the FAME II scheme or reintroduce FAME I, saying the programme meant to promote EVs in its second avatar has been able to achieve less than 10 per cent of its target.

The Rs 10,000-crore FAME-II scheme which is to be implemented over a period of three years, came into effect from April 1, 2019. It is the expanded version of FAME India I (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles (FAME) which was launched on April 1, 2015, with a total outlay of Rs 895 crore.

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In a letter to the finance minister, the industry body of electric vehicle (EV) makers also called for a notional ‘green cess’ on polluting vehicles and use it to accelerate electric mobility, while also seeking reduction of GST on EVs sold without battery.

“For a nascent and disruptive industry like EV that is heavily dependent on government policies, there needs to be an effective approach that would drive the market of EVs in the country… The industry is still lagging behind the desired target,” SMEV Director General Sohinder Gill wrote in a letter to Sitharaman.

He further said, “our analysis shows that efforts must be made to generate demand and we believe that this can be easily done by the government’s intervention relating to streamlining, ironing out policy details and adequate announcements in Budget 2021-22.”

Suggesting measures to help the sector, Gill called for a rejig of the FAME II scheme or reintroduction of FAME I.

“It’s been almost 2 years of the FAME II scheme and only less than 10 per cent of its target has been achieved. We should make concerted efforts to remove the kinks that have inadvertently cropped up in Fame II,” he wrote.

The policy should be completely redrafted, if needed, so that substantial investments both from within and outside India can flow into the EV sector to push the exponential growth that everyone has been expecting for some years. Or else, reintroduce the FAME I scheme that had worked better for the industry, Gill said.

The FAME II scheme had planned to support 10 lakh electric two-wheelers, five lakh three-wheelers, 55,000 four-wheelers and 7,000 buses.

SMEV had in the past argued that FAME II could not attract customers to shift from polluting petrol bikes to electric two-wheelers, mainly because the preconditions and qualification criteria of FAME-II made the bikes unaffordable to the mass market customer despite the subsidy.

In his letter, Gill also asked the finance minister to consider “the imposition of a notional green cess on the polluting vehicles and use it to accelerate electric mobility. It would generate massive funds and reduce the burden on the government exchequer.”

This fund could be utilised in the frontloading of incentives to customers and bring electric two-wheelers prices down to the level of petrol two-wheelers, he added.

Seeking reduction of GST on EV sold without battery, Gill said, “Currently, GST on a lithium battery is taxed at 28 per cent when sold separately, while the vehicle sold with battery is taxed at 5 per cent.

“Recently, MoRTH approved the registration of EVs without the battery, therefore, vehicles without batteries should also fall in the EV GST category. Hence, we urge the government to reduce it to 5 per cent, similar to GST applicable on EVs.”

SMEV also sought extension of the phased manufacturing programme (PMP) saying COVID-19 has derailed the growth path of the industry, which has weakened the creation of the local component market.

“Hence, we urge the government to extend the PMP guideline for just another year so that the industry can come on track, which will automatically strengthen the local component market,” Gill wrote in the letter.

Last September, the government had extended the deadline for local manufacturing to be eligible for incentives under the FAME II scheme for parts like the electronic throttle for all categories of EVs till April 1, 2021, from earlier deadlines ranging from April 1, 2020, to October 1, 2020.

Asking for inclusion of EVs in Swachh Bharat Mission, Gill wrote, “A dedicated budget could be allocated for the ‘Clean Air’ campaign, which could be integrated under the Swachh Bharat mission. The ‘Clean Air’ campaign can create massive awareness on Electric mobility and can influence the mindset of customers to adopt electric mobility to make India less polluting and its citizens healthier.”


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