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Maharashtra plans to revise its electric vehicle policy

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While failing to achieve much three years after using the electric vehicle (EV) policy, the Maharashtra government has decided to improvise the scheme in better synchronization with various other state departments and Central governments. The state is also planning to have a gigafactory plant in Maharashtra to produce batteries and increase the number of charging stations to ensure an increase in EVs in the coming years.

Prime Minister Uddhav Thackeray held a meeting Friday to review the implementation status of the policy, which was presented in 2018. A committee chaired by Ashian Kumar Singh, the chief secretary of the transport department, has prepared a revised draft policy by updating and its adjustment to central policies and the subsequent decision. The state is also planning incentives and subsidies for industries and manufacturers of vehicles and ancillary businesses such as manufacturers of batteries, chargers, spare parts, among others.

Thackeray has instructed the transportation department to present the revised policy to the state cabinet for approval as soon as possible.

The policy should focus on the steps to be taken for its effective implementation in rural and urban areas by building strong infrastructure for charging stations. The policy should also affect subsidies to be provided to suppliers and producers, in addition to foreign investment. He should also look at measures to be taken to encourage EVs on public transport and their maximum use in the government sector, he said.

Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray has led the administration to seek steps to promote charging stations in housing companies.

Maharashtra was one of the first states to unveil its EV Policy in February 2018. However, it could not be implemented effectively due to subsequent changes made by various Central government departments.

There have been many changes made by various central government departments since our policy was introduced. Maharashtra, being a leader in vehicle production and sales, was supposed to witness an increase in environmentally friendly vehicles, but delays in drafting the integrated incentive scheme resulted in a lukewarm response from the industry. We aim to increase the share of EVs in the registration of new vehicles by 2025 by 5, 10 and 20% for four, two and three-wheelers, respectively. We are also aiming to create at least one Gigafactory for the production of advanced batteries. Manufacturing giants such as Tesla are expected to invest in the state, for which incentives are being pushed, said an official from the transportation department.

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